CalWORKs Self-Sufficiency Programs

CalWORKs Self-Sufficiency Programs


Imperial Valley ROP has an extensive history of partnering with the Imperial County Department of Social Services to deliver comprehensive programs to ICDSS participants. This collaboration continues with the funding to four separate programs designed to support CALWORKs recipients participating in Welfare to Work services. All services offered through these programs are designed to support customer advancement towards self-sufficiency.


Life Skills (760) 336-4045: This series of four, 20-hour workshops provide CALWORKs participants, education, and guidance on identifying and managing challenges in life including mental health and substance abuse. The workshops also support CALWORKs 2.0 efforts to develop long-term goal setting and achievement skills. This service supports participants as they navigate barriers affecting their preparation, obtainment, and retention of employment.

Eligibility/Targeted Participants:

Life Skills is available as a component of Universal Engagement activities for CALWORKs recipients participating in Welfare to Work.


This program is funded through the state Mental Health and Substance Abuse (MHSA) allocations to Imperial County.

Job Readiness (760) 336-4034: This 20-hour workshop builds on the essential tools needed to enter the workforce. This workshop is designed to assess the current skill level of participants and ehance or refresh their employment seeking tools. Participants in this course will learn effective job search techniques, high quality interview practices, how to develop a competitive resume and how to communicate effectively to prospective employers. 

Eligibility/Targeted Participants:

Job Readiness is as a state mandated component of Universal Engagement activities for CALWORKs recipients participating in Welfare to Work.


This program is funded as a component of state mandated services through the CALWORKs single allocation to Imperial County.

Project WORK-E.S.E./WEX (760) 339-6140: These services utilize a network of employers that support volunteer non-paid and transformational employment opportunities for participants engaged in CALWORKs. Eligible participants may be referred for career technical training opportunities and employment skills strengthening and development. Transformational employment placement and case management are provided to increase unsubsidized employment opportunities. 

Expanded Subsidized Employment (E.S.E.) further develops career path opportunities for participants. This component of service partners with an employer to provide a structured employment opportunity for participants. E.S.E. allows participants to earn wages during a set period of employment. During this period the participant has the opportunity to earn a position and the employer has the prospect of developing a long-term employee. 

Non-paid work experience (WEX) is developed to ensure that participants are compliant with CALWORKs Welfare to Work activities and simultaneously building employment skills. Participants may be entering the workforce for the first time, maybe re-entering the workforce after a hiatus, or maybe changing career paths. Partnering employers provide opportunities for participants to gain pre-entry level skills development in a "real world" work setting. 

Eligibility/Targeted participants:

Subsidized Employment services are available to active CALWORKs-Welfare to Work participants who are unemployed or under-employed and have maintained compliance with their approved activities. A high school diploma or G.E.D. is recommended.


Expanded Subsidized Employment (E.S.E.) is funded through the AB74 allocation to the county.

HSP (760) 336-4059: State funding targeting CALWORKs connected families facing homelessness provides for this service. Homeless CALWORKs families are eligible to receive services through the Housing Support Program (HSP). This service utilizes the Housing First approach in supporting participants in need of assistance. Qualifying participants receive assistance in locating and allocating housing to address their family's needs. Progressive case management allows staff to tailor services to address each qualifying family's situation. Program services may include but are not limited to:

  • Emergency Homeless Intervention: Shelters/hotel vouchers
  • Assistance with prior rental debt, fees, and fines
  • Security deposits
  • Emergency utility payments
  • Basic furnishings
  • Landlord reimbursements
  • Rental property repairs/rehab

Eligible families may also participate in services to support sustained housing including:

  • Financial literacy
  • Budget management and planning
  • Identification of a network of support
  • Accessing public resources
  • Strategies for preventing future housing crisis/homelessness
  • Tenant rights and responsibilities-IFHMB
  • Successful tenancy-workshops

Eligibility /Targeted Participants:

CALWORKs recipients who are experiencing homelessness. For HSP, CDSS defines homeless as:

  • Lacking a, or will imminently lose their fixed or regular nighttime residence; and either 
  • Having a primary nighttime residence that is a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations; or
  • Residing in a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings; or
  • In receipt of judgment for eviction, as ordered by the court.


This program was established through SB 855. Funding allocated to Imperial County through the CDSS Housing and Homeless Branch.

Grant Period:

Each Program is funded on an annual contract.

Contact Information:

Gabriel Aguirre 
Family Development and Stabilization Services Coordinator
2895 S. 4th St., Building C
(760) 336-4060

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