Helping You Support Your Family

The California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program is a public assistance program that provides temporary assistance for needy families with (or expecting) children.

If a family has little or no cash and needs housing, food, utilities, clothing or medical care, they may be eligible to receive immediate short-term help.  Families that apply and qualify for ongoing assistance receive money each month to help pay for housing, food and other necessary expenses.

Support while on the program may include temporary homeless assistance, employment/job readiness assistance, childcare, and transportation costs. Monthly cash benefits are issued on an ATM-style plastic card, called an Electronic Benefit Transfer or EBT card, which you can use to make purchases.

CalWORKs is the California version of the federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program.

Who Is Eligible

  • An adult caring for a child who is:
    • Under age 18, OR
    • Under age 19 if the child is in high school or vocational school.
  • One or both of the child’s parents must be unemployed, disabled, continuously absent or deceased.
  • You must meet income and resource limits.
  • You may also qualify if you are:
    • Pregnant and in your second trimester
    • A pregnant or parenting teen under age 18
    • A relative caring for a child.

Eligibility for benefits depends on a number of factors, including family size, immigration status, income, property, and special needs.

How CalWORKs May Help

Individuals who are in receipt of CalWORKs for themselves are required to participate in the CalWORKs employment services program called Welfare-to-Work (WTW).  Going through the WTW program builds your skills toward getting and keeping a job, so that you can support your family into the future.

During your program, WTW staff may:

  • Assess you for types of jobs you might do,
  • Help you make a plan to get work and increase your job skills,
  • Support you in training for various jobs, including helping you obtain your GED,
  • Provide childcare while you are completing the Welfare-to-Work program,
  • Help you get such services as: mental health services, alcohol or other drug services, legal help, learning disability support and/or support for those affected by domestic violence.

Temporary Homeless Assistance

CalWORKs Homeless Assistance is available to families with children who are currently enrolled in (or eligible to) the CalWORKs program.  The CalWORKs Temporary Homeless Assistance program provides:

  • Payments for up to 16 days of temporary shelter in a 12-month period.
  • Payments related to permanent housing, including security or utility deposits.
  • Provides up to two months of back rent if you are facing eviction.

You may also qualify for a referral to the CalWORKs Housing Support Program.  Click here for more information.

Diversion Program

The diversion program is available to potentially eligible CalWORKs applicants to help the family overcome a short-term crisis.  It is intended to provide immediate financial assistance that can help individuals keep or start a job and continue to be self-supporting.

If it is determined by the Eligibility Specialist (EW) that a family may be better served by receiving a one-time Diversion Program payment instead of monthly cash payments, the EW will discuss this option with the applicant.

For additional information about the diversion program, please read the following document in English or Spanish

Time Limits

CalWORKs parents or caretaker relatives are limited to a total of 60-months of cash assistance.  This also applies to any months (from January 1998 on) in which the parent(s) received cash assistance from a state other than California. 

There are certain exemptions to the 60-month lifetime limit, which will be explained by your Eligibility Specialist.  If you meet an exemption reason, you may receive aid in a given month without it counting towards your 60-month lifetime limit.

Once the CalWORKs 60-month lifetime limit is reached, the adult will no longer be eligible for CalWORKs, however the children may remain eligible.

Applying for CalWORKs

You may apply for CalWORKs electronically at or by completing a paper application and submitting the application:

In Person

Hand your application to a receptionist at any of our locations Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

  • 2751 Napa Valley Corporate Drive, Building A, Suite 108, Napa CA
  • 4381 Broadway, Suite 100, American Canyon, CA

Drop Off

Drop your application in one of our drop boxes:

  • Outside the lobby at 2751 Napa Valley Corporate Drive, Building A, Suite 108, Napa CA
  • Outside Suite 100 at 4381 Broadway, American Canyon, CA


Mail your application to:
Napa County Health and Human Services
2751 Napa Valley Corporate Dr.
Napa, CA 94558


Fax your application to 707-253-6095

Home Visiting Program (HVP)

The Home Visiting Program (HVP) is available to qualifying households who also are receiving (or eligible to) the CalWORKs program.  The Home Visiting Program offers additional guidance and assistance that promote positive health development, expanding future educational, economic, and financial opportunities, and improve the likelihood of exiting poverty. Some services include:

  • Education for parents, parent-child interaction, child development, and childcare
  • Job readiness and barrier removal
  • Nutrition and care for infants and children 

For more information on the Home Visiting Program, click here.