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Coalition_letter Powered By Docstoc
					June 3, 2009

To:            The Honorable Arnold Schwarzenegger
               Governor, State of California

               Honorable Members
               California Legislature

               AND CALWORKS

We are writing on behalf of a broad coalition of organizations and individuals to
oppose the cuts being proposed to the child welfare, foster care and CalWORKs
programs. We certainly understand the depth of the state’s fiscal problems. But
cuts of this magnitude would likely make the state’s situation worse, and would
cause immeasurable harm to innocent dependent children. The negative impacts
on individual children, communities, and the economy if these cuts are adopted
would simply be too great. From both a human and economic perspective, we
urge you to reject the cuts.

The Governor proposes a 10 percent cut to Child Welfare Services and a 10
percent rate reduction for most foster caregivers. He also has proposed to
eliminate the CalWORKs program outright, after initially proposing significant
cuts including an additional 6 percent grant reduction and elimination of the
safety net for children whose parents are timed-off of the program or otherwise
unable to work.

These proposed cuts come on top of years of underfunding and direct cuts to
these programs, which provide vital services to the most vulnerable children in
the state. Despite a 24 percent increase in the cost of living over the past eight
years, foster caregivers have received only a 5 percent increase, and not all
received that. In the case of child welfare, substantial progress has been made in
recent years to improve outcomes for children and families, including less use of
foster care, more partnerships with community-based organizations to prevent
abuse and neglect and strengthen at-risk families, and a greater focus on finding
permanent homes for children who cannot live safely with their biological parents.

Cutting nearly $200 million (total funds) from child welfare and foster care, as
proposed, would deal a devastating blow to abused and neglected children and
the dedicated people who seek to help them, reversing the strides made in
recent years and resulting in unprotected children, fewer quality caregivers, and
fewer trained social workers. If these cuts are enacted, lawmakers and the public
should expect to see a system that merely responds to tragedies, rather than
helping to prevent them.

CalWORKs, in its own right, is a remarkably successful program. The number of
people receiving assistance has been cut in half since CalWORKs started.
Rather than being a burden on the General Fund, the TANF Block Grant has
actually contributed more than $11 billion to non-CalWORKs state programs
since its inception and has helped tens of thousands of Californians enter the
In today’s dire recessionary climate, counties are seeing increases in demand for CalWORKs,
as devastated families seek help from a safety net that now threatens to drop them in their time
of need. Eliminating CalWORKs would suck additional billions of dollars out of the economy,
resulting in greater job loss and pushing the state from its current 11 percent unemployment
rate to an estimated 11.8 percent. Note, too, that a grant reduction of 4 percent was enacted in
February and is due to take effect in July, despite the availability of federal stimulus funds that
would pay for 80 percent of the costs. Reducing the grant by an additional 6 percent, as
proposed, would save the state only 20 cents on the dollar and would actually drop CalWORKs
grants below their 1989 levels.

The families affected by the cuts to CalWORKs are, in many ways, the same families affected
by cuts to child welfare services. CalWORKs is the state’s largest child abuse prevention
program. Research indicates that a family’s inability to meet basic needs can result in the abuse
or neglect of their children. Common sense dictates that disenrolling children en masse from
safety net programs affects their entire future life trajectory. The cuts proposed to these
programs are two sides of the same coin, both of which must be rejected.

Finally, these cuts would return billions of dollars to the federal government at a time when the
state can scarcely afford to do so. This includes an estimated $53.7 million in lost federal
funding due to the child welfare proposals, as well as the entire CalWORKs block grant of $3.7
billion per year. A recent analysis by Beacon Economics indicates that human services
spending returns an average $1.32 to the economy for every $1 spent. The loss of these funds
on top of billions in lost state funding will reverberate throughout the local and state economies.

Asking Californians from all walks of life to share the burden of the tremendous deficit facing the
state is not an unfair approach. But balancing the budget on the backs of poor and abused
children cannot be the answer. We ask you to draw the line at these cuts.


Willie Pelote
American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO

Carroll Schroeder
California Alliance for Child and Family Services

Kelly Brooks
California State Association of Counties

Sheila Boxley
The Child Abuse Prevention Center

Ed Howard
Children’s Advocacy Institute

Frank J. Mecca
County Welfare Directors Association of California

Tia Orr
SEIU California State Council

Michael Herald
Western Center on Law and Poverty

                                 Organization Sign-Ons (Partial List)
                 Updated 6/9/09. We will update regularly throughout the budget process.

9 to 5 National Association of Working Women
A Home Within, Toni Heineman, D.M.H., Founder and Executive Director
Abode Services
ACCESS/Women’s Health Rights Coalition
ACLU of Southern California
ACTS for Children
Advanced Education Services
Affordable Housing Services
AIDS Legal Referral Panel
Allied Housing
Asian American Recovery Services, Inc.
Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice
Asian Law Alliance
Association of Community Human Service Agencies
At the Crossroads
Aviva Family and Children's Services
Bay Area Legal Aid
Bay Area Parent Leadership Action Network
Bay Area Youth Centers
Berhe Group Home, Judy Berhe, Director
Berkeley Community Coalition
Brion & Associates
Building Opportunities for Self Sufficiency
Butte County Department of Employment & Social Services
California Alcohol and Drug Program Administrators Association of California
California Alliance for Retired Americans
California Association of Addiction Recovery Resources
California Association of Adoption Agencies, Carol J. Bishop, President
California Association of Food Banks
California Child Care Resource & Referral Network
California Church IMPACT
California Commission on the Status of Women
California Disability Community Action Network
California Family Resource Association

California Food Policy Advocates
California Human Development
California Immigrant Policy Center
California Latinas for Reproductive Justice
California Partnership
California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation
California Youth Connection
CalWORKs Palomar College
Campesinos Unidos, Inc., Jose M. Lopez, Executive Director
CASA of Mariposa County
Child Care Law Center
Children’s Defense Fund – California
Children’s Hope Foster Family Agency, Benjamin E. Payne, Administrator
Children’s Law Center of Los Angeles
Children’s Network of Solano County
Children’s Receiving Home of Sacramento
City & County of San Francisco
Coalition of California Welfare Rights Organizations, Inc.
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles
Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County, Inc., Elizabeth “Biz” Steinberg, CEO
Community Family Guidance Center
Community Technology Alliance
Corporation for Supportive Housing
County of Los Angeles Department of Child and Family Services, Trish Ploehn, Director
County of Los Angeles Department of Public Social Services, Philip L. Browning, Director
County of Riverside
County of Santa Clara Social Services Agency
Courage to Change, Tulare County
Crews’ Home for Girls, Inc.
Crossroads Treatment Center
Crystal Stairs
David & Margaret Youth and Family Services, La Verne, CA
Disability Rights California
EMQ Families First
Environmental Alternatives Foster Family Agency, Jim Hardee, Executive Director
Family Builders

Family Service Agency of Sonoma
Fighting Back Partnership
Five Acres - The Boys' & Girls' Aid Society of Los Angeles
Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano
Gavilan College/CalWORKs/CARE Program
Girls and Boys Town of Southern California
Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law
Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services
Having Our Say
Help Our People Excel Inc.
Homeless Families Advocacy Coalition, Sacramento
Honoring Emancipated Youth
Housing California
Housing Leadership Council San Mateo County
Humboldt County Board of Supervisors
Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services, Phillip R. Crandall, Director
Imperial County Department of Social Services
Imperial Valley College CalWORKs
Inner City Law Center
Insight Center for Community Economic Development
John Burton Foundation
Kern Bridges Youth Homes
Kids in Common
Kings Community Action Organization, David B. Droker, MA, Executive Director
Kings County Human Services, Peggy Montgomery, Director
Kinship Center
LBUSD WRAP Afterschool Programs
Lake Family Resource Center
Larkin Street Youth Services
Law Foundation of Silicon Valley
Legal Services of Northern California
Leroy Haynes Center
Lilliput Children's Services
Little Tokyo Service Center, CDC, Los Angeles

Los Positas College
Lutheran Office of Public Policy – Policy
MAC's Children & Family Services, Inc., Mary Ann Carpenter, Executive Director
Madera Coalition for Community Justice
Maloney-Wilding Foundation for Children & Teens
Mariposa County Human Services Department
Martins Achievement Center, Jim Martin, Executive Director
Mental Health America of Los Angeles, Richard Van Horn, President
Milhous Children Services, Level 14
National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter
National Council of Jewish Women, California
Neighborhood Housing Services Silicon Valley
Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California
Northern Valley Catholic Social Service
Oakendell Residential Treatment Facility, Steve and Carol Mertens Founders and Directors
On the Capitol Doorstep
Operation Safehouse
Opportunity Fund
Our Children’s Keeper Foster Family Agency
PACE Alternative Payment Program
Pacific Lodge Youth Services
Para Los Niños
Parent Voices
Pathways Transitional Housing
Peace 4 Kids, Zaid Gayle, Executive Director
Penny Lane Centers
Phoenix Houses of California
Pierce College GAIN/CalWORKs Program
Progressive Christians Uniting
Public Interest Law Firm and Fair Housing Law Project
Rebekah Children’s Services, Mary Kaye Gerski, Executive Director
Redwood Children's Services Inc., Camille Schraeder, M.A., Executive Director
Regional Council of Rural Counties
Rosalie Rendu Center
Sacramento City College, CalWORKs
San Diego Center for Children

San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper
San Luis Obispo County Department of Social Services
San Mateo County Human Services Agency
Seneca Center for Children and Families
Senior Coalition of Solano County
Seraphim Manor, DV Transitional Housing
Shasta College CalWORKs
Shelter, Inc.
Shelter Partnership
Sierra Vista Child & Family Services
Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits
Sonoma County Child Care Planning Council
Sonoma County Human Services Department
St. Anthony Foundation
St. Joseph’s Family Center
Stanford Home for Children
Summitview Child & Family Services
Supportive Parents Information Network
T&T House of Champion
Tahoe Turning Point, Inc.
Tehama County Social Services
Terra Manor, Inc.
The Alameda County Foster Youth Alliance
The Child Abuse Prevention Council of Contra Costa County
The Guidance Center
The Older Women’s League
The Sacramento Children’s Home
The Women’s Foundation of California
The Workforce Collaborative
Transgender Law Center
Triad Family Services
Trinity Youth Services
TURN – The Utility Reform Network
United Friends of the Children
United Way Silicon Valley, Carole Leigh Hutton, President and CEO

Unity Care Group, Inc., André V. Chapman, M.A., President and CEO
Urban Counties Caucus
Valley Teen Ranch
Victor Treatment Centers
Victor Valley College
Vietnamese Voluntary Foundation, Diem Ngo, Executive Director
Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services, Elias Lefferman, Ph.D., President/Chief Executive
WestCoast Children's Clinic
Westside Shelter and Hunger Coalition
Wide Horizons Ranch
Youth and Family Enrichment Services
Youth For Change
Youth Homes, Inc.

                                 Individual Sign-Ons (Partial List)
               Updated 6/5/09. We will update regularly throughout the budget process.

Alyson Juers, Butte County ILP Case Worker
Arturo A Vargas, MSW., Team Decision Making Facilitator, Ventura County
Claudia M. Padilla, Clerk Typist III, Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Program
Eric James MSW., Assistant Director, Youth & Family Programs
Frank Linebaugh, Leroy Haynes Center
Jane Ferguson, Director of Pastoral Care and Community Ministry St. Mary's Parish, Los Gatos
Jerry Johnson, Coordinator, California Coalition of Foster Family Agencies
John Bacon, MA Psych., MSW, LCSW
John D. Larson, Program Manager, CalWORKs Community Health Alliance of Santa Clara
Kate Meurer, Citrus Community College, YESS-LA Program Specialist
Kayla Plourde, Juvenile Justice Commissioner, San Luis Obispo County
Ken Berrick, CEO/President, Seneca Center
Kerri Fulton, Program Coordinator, Nevada County Foster Youth Independent Living Program
Krysta Creighton, Program Director, Independent Living Skills Program, Marys House
   Transitional Living Program, Summer Youth Employment Program 2009
Lauri Collier, MBA, BSW., Transitional Housing Director, St. Anne’s ~ The Bogen Family Center

Maureen Gibe, Transition Age Youth Counselor, Seneca Center – San Francisco Connections
Melissa W. Danielson, Intervention Specialist - Foster Youth Services Program, Yuba County
   Office of Education
Michele Mix, Foster Parent Recruiter/Intake Coordinator, Redwood Children's Services, Inc.
Poncho Guevara, Sacred Heart Community Service
Robert A. Ketch, Executive Director, Five Acres - The Boys' & Girls' Aid Society of L.A
Roynan Steres, Case Manager, P.A.T.H.-Plus, Peacock Acres Inc.
Sharlene H. Carlson, JD, MPH, Health Care Program Analyst II, CalWORKs Community Health
  Alliance of Santa Clara County
Starr Coatney, Management Analyst, County of Santa Clara Social Services Agency,
   CalWORKs – Employment Services Initiative
Steve Jr. Duran III, Program Director, Peacock Acres Inc.
Tabitha Kuehne, MFTI, Redwood Childrens Services and TLC Child and Family Services
Tami Thompson, Butte County ILP Coordinator
Terry Pace, T&T House of Champion
Zarinah Abdullah, Supervisor/Director, Our Children’s Keeper Foster Family Agency


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