History of Statewide Automated Welfare
On June 28, 2019, the 58 California Counties came together as one Joint Powers Authority to initiate the California Statewide Automated Welfare System (CalSAWS) Project and Consortium, which will operate under one system by 2023.
There is currently one Consortium providing support to three systems:
- Consortium IV (C-IV)
- LEADER Replacement System (LRS)
- California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) Information Network (CalWIN)
The Consortium concept provides flexibility to county welfare departments while balancing funding limitations. Although the Counties lead the development and implementation of automated Systems, Counties recognize that autonomy in administering welfare is guided by Federal and State laws, regulations, rules, and policies. State Project management and oversight for SAWS is provided by the California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS), California Department of Social Services (CDSS), California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), and California Office of Systems Integration (OSI).
Evolution of SAWS
In 1995, CalWIN originally replaced Welfare CDS (Case Data System) in order to provide sufficient automation to support tracking of time-on-aid federal requirements. The CalWIN Consortium was established as a modern technological solution to provide clients with improved customer service and case management functions for public assistance programs. CalWIN serves 6.4 million California residents across 18 counties, accounting for 40% of California’s total caseload.
In 1996, the C-IV Consortium established itself as a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) by Agreement with the member Counties. As a JPA, the C-IV Consortium provided a single legal entity, separate from its members, for managing the C-IV Project and its C-IV System.
In 2001, C-IV contracted with Accenture to design, develop, and implement the C-IV System – a web-based, automated system to manage the increasing complexity of public assistance and employment programs. Accenture provided project management, design, development, testing, infrastructure build, user training, implementation, and maintenance services. The Consortium provided Business Analysts to convey the necessary public assistance background and business knowledge to interpret State and Federal regulations.
The C-IV System currently supports 39 California Counties and serves approximately 30% of California’s public assistance caseload (approximately 4.8 million individuals). C-IV supports over 18,000 system users located across more than 250 public assistance offices.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) contracted with Accenture to implement, modify, enhance, and maintain the LEADER Replacement System (LRS). The project contract allocated four years for design, development, and implementation, six months for performance verification, and six and a half years for operational completion.
LRS began development in November of 2012 and was implemented countywide in November of 2016. LRS is used by over 22,000 Los Angeles County staff members, who provide services to over 4.5 million LA County residents, accounting for 30% of California’s caseload.
Effective September 1, 2017, pursuant to the Amended and Restated Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement, the Consortium IV Joint Powers Authority officially changed its name to the California Automated Consortium Eligibility System (CalACES) with the addition of Los Angeles County. The CalACES Consortium was governed and administered by its Board of Directors, comprised of eight County Welfare Directors, one from each of the Consortium’s eight regions. CalACES was the preface to what would later become CalSAWS, with the addition of the 18 CalWIN counties.