Implementation and Outcomes for CYSA/TANF in California's Probation Departments

Susan Turner, RAND
Lois M. Davis, RAND

California's Welare-to-Work Act of 1997 created two new programs, one of which was the Comprehensive Youth Services Act (CYSA). The CYSA provided county probation departments with federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) funds to be used to help attain overarching federal TANF goals by providing services to youths and their families. The intent of the legislation was to allow county probation departments to "provide a continnum of family-focused, case-specific services in a community-based setting, that addresses the full spectrum of child and family needs, including services provided in county-operated residential care facilities." RAND was selected to conduct a three-year process and impact evaluation of CYSA/TANF by the Chief Probation Officers of California. This paper presents finding on the types of programs and services provided to youth and their families, the factors that facilitated and hindered planning and implementation; as well as the impact CYSA/TANF had on probation department operations across the state. In addition, we present the results of outcome studies in four selected counties.

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Updated 05/20/2006