General Relief Opportunities for WORK (GROW)
GROW program was implemented in February 1999, as approved by the Board of Supervisors under Section 17000.6 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. On August 21, 1998, a law change extended the time limit on eligibility for General Relief (GR) to nine months in any 12 month period and made participation in a welfare-to-work program mandatory for employable GR recipients.
Currently, the GR Program is undergoing a restructure, with the purpose of improving its effectiveness in moving participants into self-sufficiency, mainly by seeking Social Security Income (SSI) or by obtaining employment. GROW Program is taking part in this restructure and new enhancements and customized services are being developed to improve employment preparation and employment opportunities for GROW participants. Recent additions include the Pathways to Success and Computer Application Class components described below.
GROW Program Overview
The goal of GROW is to transition GROW participants into the labor market. Participation is mandatory for all employable GR recipients. Unemployable participants may volunteer to participate. The first GROW activity consists of a brief Orientation during which participants learn basic information regarding GROW, its components and its requirements. Orientation is provided by GROW contracted providers with a short presentation made by a Case Manager to emphasize benefits of participation in the program.
Individuals are given information on the GROW program when they apply for GR. On the same day, and at the district office, applicants without documented physical or mental disabilities meet one-on-one with an Employment Specialist (Eligibility Worker) who briefly explains the program. An Employment Needs Evaluation is initiated to gather information concerning the applicant's job skills, educational background, work history, etc. The applicant is then scheduled for an Orientation appointment. Participation is mandatory for employable participants as a condition of receiving GR. Time limits begin on the date of the Orientation appointment.
Participants deemed unemployable due to physical or mental disabilities, as well as old age (60 or older) are not required to participate in GROW. They may request voluntary enrollment and volunteers are not subject to time limits and may disenroll at any time, without financial penalties.
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