CalWORKs (California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids) helps families with children who do not have enough money for their basic needs because a parent is unemployed, disabled, not around to care for the children, in jail, or has died. The person who takes care of the children may not be able to afford to pay for the family's food, rent, clothing, and other basic living expenses.

CalWORKs helps the parent, or other person taking care of children, with:

  • Money
  • Support for finding a job
  • CalFresh (formerly Food Stamps)
  • Medi-Cal, and
  • Sometimes additional benefits.

CalWORKs is funded by a federal program called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), so you might hear it called that sometimes. In other states, it has different names. Some people just call it “welfare.”

CalWORKs is administered separately by each of California’s 58 counties. To learn more about what benefits or services you may qualify for, you should contact your county human services agency.