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.
Effective July 2006, GROW implemented a redesign that enhances its services and eliminates the gap between
Orientation and Job Skills Participation Class (JSPC), as well as other time gaps in-between components.
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.
Employment Needs evaluation(EVA) - Prior to
enrollment in GROW, and as part of the GR application process, all employable applicants are screened to gather
information regarding their education and job skills, as well as any potential barriers to employment that may affect
their participation in the program. This information is recorded into the GROW computer system and later on utilized
by the case manager to determine the GROW activities that are appropriate for each individual. Voluntary participants
need to be assessed by a medical provider or a certified mental health Clinician to determine whether any limitations and/or
reasonable accommodations are necessary for participation. Accommodations that are not reasonable cannot be provided.
Therefore, participants in need of major accommodations cannot be enrolled in GROW.
||Orientation (ORN) - Consists of a brief presentation which provides
participants with an overview of the program and its services. Beginning on August 3, 2000, attending Orientation became a condition
of GR eligibility. During Orientation participants learn about the program and take part in a literacy assessment.
||Case Manager Appointments (CMA) - GROW participants throughout their participation in the program,
receive Case Manager Appointments to discuss their progress and to determine the next activity to which they would be assigned,
based on each individual's background and circumstances. A Job Skills Assessment is completed during the first Case Manager
appointment to determine the participant's background information, skills, work history, education, etc. This information
is used as the basis for participation in GROW, and helps create the profile referenced below.
||Rapid Employment and Promotion (REP) - This is a voluntary
component offered to participants right after Orientation while the case status is pending. Participants must have a
California ID or driver's license, social security card and registration with the Employment Development Department (EDD)
in order to be considered for this component. Additionally, there is a selection process to determine if the
participants are job-ready and available to start employment immediately if they receive a job offer.
||Early Job Search (EJS) - This is a voluntary component offered to
any interested participants who are willing to participate in intensive job searching activities while they wait for their case
to be approved. Transportation is issued for traveling to and from job interviews as needed.
||Job skills Preparation Class (JSPC) - A three-week activity
consisting of a one-week job skills workshop and two weeks of directed, intense job search activities. The Employment Development
Team (EDT) comprised of the Case Manager, Job Developer and Facilitator provide support and determine the best way to assist
each participant in his/her career path, based on information gathered on the Participant Employment Profile(PEP).
||Pathways to Success (PTS) - A four-week job readiness and
job search activity designed to provide GROW Transition Age Youth (TAY) participants, ages 18 to 24 years old, with
pre-employment and life skills training and support.
||Vocational Assessment(VOC) - Upon recommendation made
by the Employment Development Team (EDT) participants are referred to this optional component. A professional Vocational Assessor
develops an agreed-upon employment plan for participants who remain unemployed after participation in any other components.
Upon completion, they may be assigned to Intensive Case Management, Short-Term Training or Education/Training.
||Intensive Case Management (ICM) -This component consists of intensive
job searching activities under the guidance of the Job Developer and/or Case Manager. ICM services are provided as follows:
||During any down-time of a week or more, in-between components.
||Concurrently with any other activities which combined add up to 20 hours per week.
||Once all other required components have been completed and until time limits expire
||Short Term Training (STT) - Participants receive referrals
to training programs that can be completed within sixty days. There is no requirement for Vocational Assessment in order to
participate in this component. There are a couple of customized short-term training for GROW participants which include:
Office Occupations, Security Guard, and Computer Application Class (details are shown below).
||Education/Training (EDU) - Under the recommendation of the
Employment Development Team (EDT), the GROW Case Manager or the Vocational Assessor, participants are referred to
education/training programs to fulfill their employment goals Participants are referred to local/community schools and
||Self-Initiated Program (SIP) - Attendance at education or training
programs may be approved in lieu of JSPC if the participant was enrolled prior to Orientation and:
||The program involves a minimum of 20 hours activity per week,
||Is likely to lead to employment in a demand occupation, and
||Can be completed within the remaining time on aid
Fastrak - A four week component designed to increase participant
job readiness and career motivation by reducing potential barriers to employment. Fastrak specifically targets participants who
are chronically homeless, those who have completed a substance abuse treatment, those who have previously been in GROW, and those
age 50 and older. Classes are small and utilize an interagency team approach. Staff from Los Angeles County Office of Education
conducts classes with collaboration of DPSS case managers who provide support to the participants.
||Office Occupations (OPS) - A twelve-week course designed
for participants who express an interest in working in an office environment. Participants will acquire hands-on experience
with computers and use of office-related software programs
||Computer Application Class (CAC) - This component is a 12-week
open-entry/open-exit class for Transitional Age Youth (TAY) participants between the ages of 18-24. It was designed to provide
TAY participants with knowledge and understanding of industry-standard software, used by today's employers, and hands-on
computer experience needed for entry level positions.
||One-Stop/Work Source (OST) - This component is available to participants
who are returning to GROW after being time-limited off and they have completed REP, JSPC or Fastrak in their current enrollment
period. Activities include short-term training programs, employment resources, job referrals and job retention services.
||Non-Custodial Parent (NCP) - Designed to assist
participants who have children that are not living with them, this component helps them find employment and meet their child support
obligations. Activities include short-term training programs, employment resources, peer support groups, counseling sessions that
encourage participants to provide financial and emotional support for their children, job referrals and job retention services.
||Youth (YTH) - This component is designed to provide services for
participants who are between the ages of 18-24, preparing them to successfully enter the work environment by offering a variety
of employment, education and vocational training programs that are geared to their age group.
||Post-Employment Services (PES) - Offers job retention services,
continued education development, rapid re-employment and supportive services provided by the Case Manager. Additionally, participants
may get assistance with transportation for up to thirty days after securing employment as long as their GR case remains active.
||Supportive Services - Includes screening for
potential substance abuse, domestic violence and mental health needs. Referrals are made at the time of Orientation and during
Vocational Assessment. Case Managers may also make referrals at any time a participant expresses the need for such assistance.
||Work Related Expenses - Provided as needed for transportation and other
employment related needs, including, but not limited to uniforms, shoes, tools, etc. These are also provided for education and training
costs such as books, fees and supplies.
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
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. Volunteers are not subject to time limits and may disenroll at any time, without financial
THE GROW PARTICIPANT'S TEAM
Case Manager - Provides case management services during the individual's
participation in the program. He/she conducts the initial appraisal; works with participants to ensure their service needs are met; plans
the necessary program activities to achieve the individual's employment goals; and provides intensive case management assistance to
participants who remain unemployed.
Job Developer - Works with employers in the local community to identify employment
opportunities and match participants with the labor force need. The Job Developer also assists participants in directed job search efforts
and reviews their progress.
Job Coach - Contracted staff, responsible for providing guidance to
participants enrolled in the REP component.
Facilitator - Contracted staff, responsible for facilitating Orientation and JSPC classes
and assisting participants during their participation in these components
Employment Development Team (EDT) - The individuals listed above are members of this team.
Together, they determine the best way to assist the participants with their employment goals based on information gathered in the
Participant Employment Profile.
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