Evaluation of the SB 1041 Reforms to California’s CalWORKs Program

Evaluation of the SB 1041 Reforms to California’s CalWORKs Program: Background and Study Design

Lynn A. Karoly
Robert Bozick
Lois M. Davis
Sami Kitmitto
Lori Turk-Bicakci
Johannes M. Bos
Aleksandra Holod
Charles Blankenship
Copyright Date: 2015
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 108
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/j.ctt14bs4s2
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  • Book Info
    Evaluation of the SB 1041 Reforms to California’s CalWORKs Program
    Book Description:

    This report provides background on the Senate Bill (SB) 1041 reforms to the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program, as well as an overview of a multiyear, multicomponent evaluation of the SB 1041 policy changes. The authors motivate and summarize the CalWORKs reforms, delineate the questions underlying the evaluation, and explain the evaluation approach, timetable, products, and expected utility.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-9025-6
    Subjects: Political Science, Law, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xi-xviii)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xix-xx)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxi-xxii)
  9. 1. Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    The federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996 ushered in a new era of cash assistance and other supports for low-income families with children, colloquially known aswelfare. Designed to “end welfare as we know it,” according to President Bill Clinton, who signed the act, PRWORA replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program (in place since the 1930s) with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. As the name implies, TANF incorporated features designed to provide basic support for families in need, but the institution of lifetime time limits meant that the...

  10. 2. CalWORKs and the SB 1041 Reforms
    (pp. 5-22)

    SB 1041 represents one set of policy changes in a series of periodic reforms to California’s CalWORKs program since its inception in 1998. This chapter serves to first set the stage for understanding the origins and history of the CalWORKs program in the context of national policy regarding the social safety net. We then detail the motivation for and main features of SB 1041 as signed into law. We also place California’s TANF policies, following the adoption of SB 1041, in the context of the policies adopted by the rest of the states. Finally, we highlight key lessons from prior...

  11. 3. Evaluating SB 1041
    (pp. 23-36)

    As described in Chapter Two, SB 1041 ushered in a number of changes to the CalWORKs program that were designed to provide incentives and support for low-income families with children moving toward meaningful employment and greater self-sufficiency. The legislation expressly called for CDSS to “contract with an independent, research-based institution for an evaluation and written report that shall be provided to the Legislature by January 1, 2018” (SB 1041, Sec. 55 [a]). The evaluation seeks to understand how the reforms were implemented, their impacts, and any unintended consequences, as well as directions for future improvement. These issues are at the...

  12. 4. What to Expect from the SB 1041 Evaluation
    (pp. 37-40)

    The evaluation of SB 1041, as a multiyear, multicomponent evaluation, is a complex undertaking, but one that is expected to yield valuable knowledge about the implementation of the reforms and whether they are having their intended effects. Audiences for the evaluation include the California legislature, which required an independent evaluation as part of the SB 1041 bill; CDSS administrators at the state and county levels; CalWORKs caseload managers and other frontline workers; advocates in California for low-income children and their families; current and potential future CalWORKs recipients; and the public more generally. Given the ongoing refinements to other state TANF...

  13. Appendix A. State Welfare Policies
    (pp. 41-50)
  14. Appendix B. Sources of Data for Evaluation
    (pp. 51-64)
  15. Appendix C. Analytic Approach
    (pp. 65-82)
  16. References
    (pp. 83-86)