Reducing Churn and Increasing CalFresh Participation Through Innovative Interview Scheduling Models

Posted by Becky Gershon, November 21, 2018, Quick, Consistent, CalFresh Participation

As more counties seek ways to increase CalFresh participation, they are looking for opportunities to empower their workers and clients to overcome barriers that have long existed in the program.

One of the most significant barriers is the CalFresh interview, which is required at both intake and recertification. We don’t have complete data on how many applicants or recertifications are denied primarily for missed interview, but average churn rates of 24% at intake and and 12.5% at recertification indicate a need to address barriers.

County Welfare Departments (CWDs) have been stepping up to the challenge by looking for innovative ways to connect with people, and the goal of this report is to better understand the various ways CWDs have increased access to the intake and recertification interviews, outside of the federal on-demand waiver, by offering more flexibility in providing the interview.

Using case studies from several California CWDs, the report identifies five models of alternatives to on demand interviews that are correlated with increased participation and reduced churn. The models provide flexibility for clients and workers, and can serve as both a primary link and as a buffer when the traditional model of pre-scheduled phone interviews doesn’t work.

To find out more, read the report here.