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Client Handbook

Download the SonomaWORKS Client Handbook

All SonomaWORKS clients receive this Client Handbook. It includes an overview of the program.

Client Handbook

Jump to:
SonomaWORKS and You
Working Toward a Better Future
Who Must Participate?
Who is Exempt?
What to Expect
Hours of Required Participation
SonomaWORKS Activities
Welfare to Work Plan
Supportive Services
Satisfactory Participation
Good Reasons for Not Participating
What Happens if You Do Not Participate
What You Can Do if You Do Not Agree
Post-Aid Services
Your Worker

SonomaWORKS and You

The SonomaWORKS Program is designed to help you find a job to support yourself and your family. As part of this process, it is important that you define your financial and personal goals. What do you see for yourself and your family in the future? Can you already “see” yourself in a job that supports your family? Does that job offer medical benefits? Does your future include planning to move to another home, owning a home, or buying a new car? Do you hope to have opportunities for job training or education? With the help of the SonomaWORKS Program, you can find answers to these questions and others you may have, and begin to determineyour plan for achieving your goals.

SonomaWORKS has programs and services available to support you and your family as you work toward your goals. Our partners from local agencies and schools are ready to assist you to upgrade your skills or learn new skills so you can get the job that will lead you and your family to financial independence. But that’s only part of the picture. You must make a commitment to participate fully in the SonomaWORKS Program. You must become engaged in the process of defining your career goals, developing a plan to reach those goals and taking responsibility for following that plan. And finally, you must become an advocate for your own self-sufficiency.

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Working Toward a Better Future

In Sonoma County, the CalWORKs program is called SonomaWORKS. Its purpose is to assist you to prepare for work, help you find a job and become self-sufficient. SonomaWORKS was designed with you in mind. It’s not just another government program. It offers much more.

  • As a SonomaWORKS participant, you will be assigned an Employment and Training Specialist, referred to in this Handbook as your “specialist,” and an Employment and Training Counselor, referred to as your “counselor.” Your specialist is responsible for determining your eligibility for the Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) Program (cash aid). Your counselor will help you develop a Welfare to Work Plan and progress through program activities until you are employed and on your way to self-sufficiency. If you are exempt from participating in the SonomaWORKS program, you may be referred to an eligibility worker who will be responsible for your cash aid program.
  • Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counselors and Domestic Violence Victim Advocates are available on site to assist you. If you have legal problems, your counselor may refer you to one of our other service providers at no cost to you.
  • SonomaWORKS provides help with essential supportive services such as childcare, transportation, and work or training related expenses while you are participating in the SonomaWORKS program.
  • There is a lifetime, cumulative, 48-month time limit for all adults (18 years or older) for the receipt of cash assistance. This limit applies to aid received from any county or state. The 48-month time limit does not apply to children.
Through SonomaWORKS, everyone can win. You can gain a job and a better future. Employers can gain skilled employees. It’s up to you. Your efforts will result in positive changes for yourself and your family.
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