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The Linkage Project

Linkages was developed in 2000 through the CalWORKs/Child Welfare Partnership Project at the California Center for Research on Women and Families (CCRWF).

The project began in thirteen (13) California counties (Phase 1) with a focus on families receiving services in the CalWORKS program and Child Welfare Services program. The second phase initiated seventeen (17) additional counties into The Linkages Project. Kern County joined The Linkages Project in the second phase. There are currently thirty-three counties participating in the Linkage Project.

In 2006, the Administration on Children and Families awarded a five year Federal grant to the State of California Department of Children's Services for the continuation of the Linkage Project to enhance, expand and evaluate Linkages in the existing counties and bring additional counties into the Linkage initiative.

In Kern County, when a Child Protective Services (CPS) referral is received the family is screened for CalFresh, Medical benefits or a CalWORKS case. If there is a case in common it is a "link" and the CPS social worker, the Employment Services (ES) social worker and the Human Services Technicians (HST), are all notified. If ongoing monitoring of the family by the CPS social worker is not necessary, the family still has the support of the ES social worker and HST to assist them in overcoming barriers leading to self-sufficiency. If it is necessary for continued CPS intervention, the Human Services professionals consult and work together to eliminate a duplication of services so not to burden the client with requirements from separate case plans. The goal of Linkages is to help the client succeed and overcome the obstacles that led to CPS intervention. Linkages allow the Department of Human Services to look at the family as a whole, not just deal with the crisis of the moment.

* Although the five year Linkages Program ended in 2011, Kern continues to practice Linkages.

The Kern County Department of Human Services is dedicated to the families and children we serve. Linkages help provide our clients Opportunity, Options and Empowerment.

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