Report #1 When Adults Are Left Out: CalWORKs Child-only Cases in Seven Counties, analyzes administrative data from seven Northern California counties to answer questions about the prevalence of five major subgroups of child-only cases, the characteristics of family members comprising those cases, and parents and caregivers' dynamics of history of receipt of aid.

Report #2 Barriers to Work: CalWORKs Parents Timed-out or Sacntioned in Five Counties, and accompanying policy brief, Addressing barriers on the path to self-sufficiency, utilize data from face-to-face surveys with sanctioned and timed-out CalWORKs recipients to report on the composition, characteristics, and needs of those households in five California counteis and to address essential policy questions. A product of Reports 1 and 2, "TANF child-only cases in California: Barriers to self-sufficiency and well-being," by Speiglman, Brown, Bos, Li, and Ortiz, appears in Journal of Children and Poverty, Vol. 17, No. 2, pps. 139-163 (September 2011). Concerning another group of child-only cases, in preparation is a manuscript provisionally titled, "Welfare reform's ineligible immigrant parent cases: Program reach and enrollment barriers."

Report #3 TANF Child-Only Cases "Child-only cases were far from the center of attention when the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program was created in 1996, and even when it was reauthorized in 2005. However, with adult-aided cases at less than one-quarter of their pre-TANF levels, child-only cases have become a substantial presence in the nation's TANF caseload, and interest in these cases is growing. In 2008, child-only cases were nearly one-half of all TANF cases. In 2011, despite recent growth in adult-aided TANF enrollment, they represented about two in every five TANF cases." "Child-only TANF aid reaches a diverse mix of children, including children living in the homes of relatives, children of parents who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and U.S-born children of parents whose immigration status renders the parents ineligible for TANF benefits. These groups have little or nothing in common with each other. They also have little in common with adult-aided TANF recipients. Most crucially, child-only cases are not subject to the federal and state program rules that have driven down TANF caseloads since TANF's inception in 1996."

So begins TANF Child-Only Cases: Who Are They? What Policies Affect Them? What Is Being Done? — a report resulting from a collaborative, multi-state research project designed to aid policy makers as they contemplate modifications to TANF. The report describes child-only policies, explores how these policies create and shape three distinct child-only caseloads, provides information about the needs of the children and adults in the households receiving child-only aid, and situates child-only TANF policy in the context of other relevant policies, including state and local choices with regard to child welfare practices.

The project relies on state reports of TANF caseload counts, administrative data on the characteristics of TANF cases, data from population-based surveys, and interviews with agency staff, policy makers and advocates regarding TANF policy, state and local implementation, and the needs of aided groups. Among other content, the report documents change in caseload size over time and examines the dynamics of case entry and exit. Findings are expected to support program and policy considerations at local, state, and national levels.

The Report is the latest document from CFPIC's CalWORKs Child-Only Study, initiated in 2006 to understand the situation of individuals on CalWORKs cases that include no aided adult - so-called child-only cases. Additional study phases, focused on child well-being, are in the design stage. For information email Richard Speiglman, project director, at

CalWORKs Children with Disabled Parents on SSI

A CFPIC Policy Brief and Report based on telephone and in-person interviews with 60 SSI parents raising children with CalWORKs aid in San Francisco, examine the situation of the parents in these cases as well as the wellbeing of their children. This unique study yields findings on parents’ health and mental health limitation, availability of practical and social support to families, hunger and other hardships, children’s physical and behavioral health, and services for children. Recommendations address strategies to meet children’s needs and strengthen families through SSI advocacy and family support, subsidized housing, mental health services for parents, early childhood education, and support for successful parenting.