When a parent has low-income and doesn’t have enough money to pay rent, medical insurance, or food they may come to The Department of Public and Social Services to ask for any or all of that assistance. For the first 30 days the assistance comes with no strings attached. After day 30 the parents receiving cash aid are enrolled in a program to help them leave the CalWorks program because te assistance is no longer temporary. This is part of the Welfare reform act under Bill Clinton.
How do you leave Welfare?
Ideally you leave us because you no longer need us. I know you are too good for me, what I want is for your BANK account to be too good for me. BUT HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN?
Meet ME! your friendly (some days) neighborhood GAIN Services Worker aka GSW.
I help you make plans and assist you to take steps (Measurable, Observable, Achievable) to earn enough money for your family to be self-sufficient.
I will help your children leave the cycle of poverty by assisting you to no longer be poor.
I send you to a Vocational Assessment to see what you want to do and if you have the skills and education level to achieve that. I will send you to a place that helps re-write resumes and does a job search with you. Yes, it is a 4 week-long program and you have to show up exactly at 8 am.
Then, I pay for transportation, child care, and supplies. You choose who will watch your child and an outside agency will pay your provider, I will give you the funds for a bus pass, and if you need interview clothes, work uniform, or school supplies: I will help pay for those too.
But wait, if that is all that happened in GAIN, it would be too simple (and I, personally, would be a Maintenance Unit Worker).
See, a funny thing happened with these timelines. Not everyone makes it out in the allotted time. Sometimes they have hidden needs – there are Domestic Violence, mental Health and Substance Abuse issues happening with the parents.
- Actively using drug addicts rarely get great employment or keep it
- Women or men who are afraid for their safety if they leave their homes also have trouble going to work or training – sometimes because of mental health issues and sometimes because their abuser scares them.
- Depression, anxiety, severe mental health issues, post traumatic stress – all make attending classes, achieving goals and gaining meaningful employment difficult.
With these challenges in mind, the we offer referrals to therapy and pay for the transportation and child care for that as well.