guide_for_advocates_on_dv_and_calworks_01-05-09

guide_for_advocates_on_dv_and_calworks_01-05-09 - A Guide...

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A Guide for Advocates on CalWORKs and Domestic Violence January 5, 2009 Update Written by: Ariella Hyman, Esq. Minouche Kandel, Esq. Bay Area Legal Aid 50 Fell St., First Floor San Francisco, CA 94102 Tel: (415) 982-1300 Fax: (415) 982-4243 mkandel@baylegal.org Originally produced by the Family Violence Prevention Fund, Feb 2001 www.endabuse.org
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A Guide for Advocates on CalWORKs and Domestic Violence Page i Table of Contents I. Introduction. ............................................................................................................................. 1 II. What Are Abuse Survivors’ Options Under CalWORKs?. ................................................. 2 A. Family Violence Option. ................................................................................................ 3 1. Waivers . ......................................................................................................................... 3 2. Lifetime Clocks. ............................................................................................................. 6 3. Maximum Family Grant Waivers (Family Cap). ........................................................... 7 4. Duration of Waivers. ...................................................................................................... 8 5. Evidence of Abuse. ........................................................................................................ 8 6. Denials and Approvals of a Waiver. .............................................................................. 9 B. Child Support Good Cause Claim for Non-Cooperation. .............................................. 9 C. Welfare-to-Work Activities . ........................................................................................ 10 1. Tailoring Welfare-to-Work Plans to Meet the Needs of Abuse Survivors. ................. 10 2. Domestic Violence Services That Are Part of a Welfare-to-Work Plan . .................... 11 D. Eligibility for Abused Immigrants. .............................................................................. 13 1. VAWA, T Visa, and U Visa Eligibility. ...................................................................... 13 2. Sponsor Deeming. ........................................................................................................ 14 3. Public Charge. .............................................................................................................. 15 E. Other Provisions . ......................................................................................................... 16 1. Diversion. ..................................................................................................................... 16 2. Homeless Assistance. ................................................................................................... 16 3. Disregarding Resources of Survivors in Shelter. ......................................................... 17 III. What Are the Welfare Department’s Obligations?. ........................................................... 17 A. Written Domestic Violence Policies. ........................................................................... 17 B. Identification, Informing & Confidentiality Requirements. ........................................ 17 C. Safety Priority & Safe Communication. ...................................................................... 19 D. Referrals to Services . ................................................................................................... 20 E. Child Support Good Cause Claim for Non-Cooperation. ............................................ 20 F. Individual Case Assessment & Tailoring Welfare-to-Work Plans. ............................. 20 G. County Training Requirements. ................................................................................... 21 Appendix A: Sworn Statement of Abuse and Request for CalWORKs Waiver . .................... 22 Appendix B: Sample CalWORKs Domestic Violence Informing Notice. .............................. 24 Appendix C: Sample Domestic Violence and Time Clock Policy . ......................................... 25
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A Guide for Advocates on CalWORKs and Domestic Violence Page i I. Introduction 1 A majority of CalWORKs recipients are also likely to be survivors of domestic violence. Several studies of families on welfare have found that roughly two thirds of recipients have been physically abused at some point in their adult life, and that one in five has been abused in the past year. 2 Welfare is a lifeline to safety for many survivors of abuse. Batterers often exert economic control over their partners and deprive them of access to family resources. Welfare might provide the only means of support for survivors and their children to escape and live free of violence. Without welfare, many survivors would be forced to choose between homelessness and remaining in an abusive relationship. Eighteen percent of CalWORKs applicants in one California county indicated that domestic violence was a factor in their applying for aid. 3 Once on welfare, domestic violence may impact a survivor’s ability to meet the various CalWORKs requirements. Batterers frequently sabotage their current or former partners’ participation in work, school or training activities. Abusers may stalk or harass their partners at work or school, destroy work clothes or equipment, beat their partners in visible places so they
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guide_for_advocates_on_dv_and_calworks_01-05-09 - A Guide...

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