Making the Transition from Welfare to Work: Employment Experiences of CalWORKs Participants in the San Francisco Bay Area


This study describes welfare-to-work participants in the San Francisco Bay Area, support services, experiences with the CalWORKs program, and predictors of employment status in the wake of welfare reform. Findings indicate that many are working and more Stayers and Recidivists than Leavers are using food stamps and Medi-Cal. Multivariate analysis reveals that race and financial supports were the significant factors contributing to employability, defined as the ability to secure employment despite the need to supplement earned income with welfare payments. To help people stay off of welfare, case management services are needed to help participants maintain employment and increase job skills. In addition to expanding our understanding of human behavior within the social environment of poverty, implications for practice and policy are identified.

De Marco, A.
Austin, M.J.
Chow, J.C.
Publication date: 
December 12, 2008
Publication type: 
Journal Article