Family Stabilization Services

What is the process?

Applying for CalWORKs

Applications for CalWORKs can be done at any social service office or online at BenefitsCal.  Applicants will be asked to provide proof of all income and property as well as proof of citizenship and social security number.

Interviewing for CalWORKs

All applicants are required to have a face-to-face interview prior to approval of their CalWORKs application.  At this appointment, all applicant adults will be fingerprinted. At this interview, an applicant’s case manager will assess what exact verifications they will need to approve the case and will inform the applicant of these necessary verifications in written documentation with a due date.

Notification of CalWORKs

If an applicant provides all needed verifications and meets the eligibility qualifications, they will be approved for a monthly cash aid amount.  If the applicant does not submit required verifications or meet the eligibility qualifications, their case will be denied.  Applicants who have been denied can re-apply at any time.

WTW Orientation

Once approved for CalWORKs, all aided adults will participate in a Welfare-to-Work Orientation to learn about the program, the process and their rights and responsibilities while receiving CalWORKs cash aid.

WTW Appraisal

At WTW Appraisal, a participant will meet with their case manager to review their education, employment history, job skills, potential employment barriers and support they may need to go to work or training like childcare, transportation or counseling or other support services.  If the participant has a crisis or situation that will keep them from being able to participate fully in the WTW Program, they will be evaluated for an exemption or eligibility to FSS.

FSS Request

If it is determined at Appraisal or any time during a Welfare-to-Work participants time on aid that they have a crisis or situation that will keep them from being able to participate fully in the WTW Program, they will be evaluated for an exemption or eligibility to Family Stabilization Services (FSS).  To receive FSS, they will complete a questionnaire outlining what the crisis or situation is and how it keeps them from participating the WTW Program. 

FSS Determination and FSS Plan

The participant’s questionnaire will be reviewed to see if they meet a qualifying Family Stabilization Service good cause situation which include but are not limited to: homelessness or risk of homelessness, child specific or lack of parenting support, lack of safety due to domestic abuse, untreated or undertreated behavioral needs, including mental health or substance abuse related needs.  While receiving FSS, a participant is given intensive case management to work on the crisis or situation that is a barrier to full WTW participation.  Referrals will be made to appropriate partner agencies and participants may receive additional help navigating systems in the community.  FSS participants will sign a county plan that they create with their case manager that will detail what they are working on and what activities are expected of them. The purpose of an FSS Plan is to work on whatever is keeping them from being able to participate fully in WTW.

If determined eligible, a participant can be deferred to not to participate in WTW for up to 6 months.  Determinations are made in 3 month intervals.  In month 6, or before, they will be re-referred to the WTW activity they last participated in.  If they have not yet signed a WTW Plan, they will begin with WTW Assessment.

WTW Assessment

Prior to choosing what types of activities they’d like to do, a participant and their case manager will work together to do some education and career testing and review what types of jobs are available in the local labor market. Together they will determine what steps will be need to attain the participant’s goals. 

WTW Plan

A WTW Plan is established based on the needs and goals of the participant that will outline what activities they will take part in to reach their employment goal.  The WTW Plan will outline the activities that are expected and how the county will help support these activities. 

Who is eligible?

Only families approved for CalWORKs and Welfare-to-Work (WTW) Programs are eligible to take part the Family Stabilization Services (FSS). The adult requesting FSS must have time remaining on their Welfare-to-Work 24-Month Time Clock and have a qualifying crisis or situation to be considered.

To be considered eligible to CalWORKs, families must be under the state's income and property guidelines and include a child who has a parent that is either deceased, absent from the home, disabled or underemployed/unemployed. 

When and where is this service offered?

CalWORKs can be applied for online at BenefitsCal anytime or in person at the Social Services offices near you.  Offices are open Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Closed on county-observed holidays).

Location, directions and hours of operation

Click on location name to show hours of operation, directions and phone information

Monday - Friday 8-4; 4-5 by appt only

1086 East Grand Avenue
Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

Tel: (805) 474-2000

Monday - Friday 8-4; 4-5 by appt only

9630 El Camino Real
Atascadero, CA 93422

Tel: (805) 461-6000

Monday - Friday 8-4; 4-5 by appt only

600 Quintana Road
Morro Bay , CA 93442

Tel: (805) 772-6405

Fax: (805) 772-6409

Monday - Friday 8-4; 4-5 by appt only

681 West Tefft Street Suite 1
Nipomo, CA 93444

Tel: (805) 931-1800

Monday - Friday 8-4; 4-5 by appt only

406 Spring Street
Paso Robles, CA 93446

Tel: (805) 237-3110

Monday - Friday 8-4; 4-5 by appt only

3433 South Higuera
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Tel: (805) 781-1600


The goal of FSS is to increase your success through more intensive case management and assignment to additional activities or barrier removal services that are necessary for you to become self-supporting.

CalWORKs recipients (adults and/or children) that are experiencing a situation or crisis that is destabilizing the family and would interfere with the adult's ability to participate in Welfare-to-Work (WTW) activities. The adult on the case must have months remaining on his/her WTW 24-Month Time Clock.

Qualifying crises or situations include but are not limited to:

  • Homelessness or Risk of Homelessness
  • Untreated or undertreated Mental Health Needs
  • Untreated or undertreated Substance Abuse Needs
  • Lack of Safety due to Domestic Abuse
  • Child Concerns/Parenting Support

Examples of some services offered through FSS include, but are not limited to:

  • Treatment for family members, if the situation interferes with your ability to participate in WTW activities
  • Intensive day treatment, non-medical outpatient drug free treatment, and residential treatment;
  • Movement to transitional housing
  • 4-Month Rental Assistance
  • Other Housing Related costs: security deposits, utility payments and moving costs
  • Rehabilitative services; and/or Substance abuse counseling/treatment
  • Childcare or Transportation to attend counseling or other approved FSS activities

FSS is a component of Welfare-to-Work (WTW). You may be given good cause to not participate in WTW for up to 6 months before you will be required to sign a WTW Plan. The County can incorporate your FSS activities into your WTW Plan when you transition plans.