Katherine Young, MSW, Director, Social Services
Donna Wheeler, LCSW, Deputy Director
Jeri Scardina, MSW, Deputy Director
Shelley Nilsen, MSW, Deputy Director

929 Koster Street
Eureka, CA 95501


The CalWORKs program is the state version of the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. The program is intended to provide temporary cash assistance to families while they are working to become self-sufficient. There are two major components to the CalWORKs program:

  1. The first is the Cash Aid portion of the program. Families can be eligible if they meet income and property level requirements and have children that are deprived of the care of one or more parents due to disability, death or unemployment.
    • Income requirements vary based on family size.
    • Property that counts towards the limit can be valued at no more than $2000.00.
    • Two parent families can be eligible if they are unemployed or underemployed and pass an eligibility determination required by the state.

  2. The second part of the CalWORKs program is Welfare-to-Work. All able bodied adults in the family are required to participate in a plan to become employed to the point of self-sufficiency. Welfare-to-Work offers numerous services to help families reach this goal. Some of these are:
    • Child Care Benefits,
    • Transportation Benefits,
    • Money to help provide items needed to become or remain employed,
    • Substance Abuse Treatment,
    • Mental Health Treatment,
    • Domestic Violence Services,
    • Learning Disabilities Screening and Evaluation,
    • Vocational Development Testing,
    • Job Skills,
    • Life Skills,
    • Individual plans for employment development,
    • And much more.

There are exemptions from required participation in the Welfare-to-Work program that can be determined through the eligibility application process.

The CalWORKs program is there for families who are temporarily in need of assistance to become self-sufficient. Adults in families who do not meet certain exemption criteria are only eligible to receive CalWORKs benefits for 48 months. This is a lifetime limit.

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