Fiscal Skill Building Resources

How to Time Study to the TANF single allocation (or any allocation)

The CDSS website contains useful information for counties seeking historical and current time study and fiscal claiming instructions for all areas and programs under the purview of the department, including CWS and TANF/CalWORKs.

Program code descriptions (PCDs) are published by the CDSS at the end of every calendar quarter and may be accessed for detail at the “lettersnotices” resource link. PCDs describe general functions and time study criteria for activities of staff assigned to various human services functions. They also provide detailed sections that describe individual time study codes (there are many), under which caseworkers and certain administrative staff report their time for claiming and reimbursement purposes. June 2013 PCD descriptions are included in the attachments section, with current descriptions available on CDSS’ website (see resources link). Section headings for PCDs are summarized below:


Section 1: Social Services Function

Section 2: CalWORKs Function

Section 3: Other Public Welfare Function

Section 4: Child Care Function

Section 5: Nonwelfare Function

Section 6: Staff Development

Section 7: Electronic Data Processing (EDP)

Section 8: Support Staff Time Reporting Instruction

Section 9: Direct to Program/Function Support Program Codes

Section 10: Direct Service Delivery (DSD) Codes

Section 11: General Time Study

Some counties have begun to utilize dual-program workers specially trained in CalWORKs and CWS policies and procedures. Counties have some flexibility to utilize the time study code that best meets their workers’ activities. For Linkages cases that share common families and services, there may be options to choosing a time study code that is appropriate not only based on description, but also based on funding makeup. Codes should be selected based upon which one most accurately reflects the activity and program benefitted. There are times, however, when more than one code could be appropriately selected. In those cases where more than one code could be appropriately used, counties may want to consider selecting the code(s) that reflect a lower

county share of cost or those that come with more under-utilized funding. Be strategic when activities/services to a targeted family can optionally be selected from either Social Services or CalWORKs functions (check the rules):

  • How does your CWS funding look versus your CalWORKs Single Allocation balance?
  • Do you have Title IV-E allowable activities under Social Services, or would some efforts be more appropriately charged to CalWORKs for Linkage families?
  • Can you increase services from multiple fund sources to enhance outcomes to that family?

 How to Practice Sound Fiscal Strategies and Flexibility

In more recent years, the Department and the University of California at Davis have partnered to provide regularly scheduled Fiscal training sessions for county program and fiscal staff. The sessions provide refresher training on long-standing fiscal rules, as well as present-day changes and updates based on amendments to federal and state regulation. The sessions also provide strategies to maximize funding while maintaining sound fiscal support and documentation. Visit the UCD Extension website for the latest Fiscal schedule and location nearest your county.

Along with the more technical instructions to counties from the Department, CDSS also released a PowerPoint Presentation at the Linkages II Conference as part of the Flexible Financing Workshop (10/28/04, see CFPIC resource link). It provides a useful guide for Linkage county financing strategies (note: some of the policy letters referenced in the presentation have been updated since 2004; these subsequent county fiscal letters may be found at the “lettersnotices” resource link.

How to Access Funds For Training

CDSS has released funding and claiming instructions associated with training for county staff and providers using Title IV-E funds.

Policy Letters:

CFL 03/04-34

- dated 1/12/04
- for the March 2004 Quarter (including foster parent training)

CWD CEC Time Study and Claiming Instructions

ACL No. 09-80

- dated 12/28/09
- (training)

Expanded Audience for Title IV-E