SAWS Migration

What is the SAWS Migration?

SAWS stands for the Statewide Automated Welfare System. There are currently three SAWS (information technology) systems being used by counties in California to conduct the business of benefits eligibility, determinations, and maintenance for people seeking social safety net supports. There are a number of ancillary services, such as document imaging, online portals, and contact center software, that connect with each county’s SAWS system.

California is currently working in partnership with the federal government to consolidate the existing three consortia systems and functionality into one single system: California Statewide Automated Welfare System (CalSAWS). This consolidation will heavily leverage existing investments in technology, rather than building a new system. (Per the SAWS Stakeholder Engagement landing page.)


Why does it matter?

The SAWS and ancillary systems are the technology and tools at the center of eligibility determinations, business processes, and the overall experience for consumers and eligibility workers. The CalSAWS system, and the means by which operations and information are migrated to that system, have foundational impacts on the way consumers and eligibility workers access and experience services.

Advocates have a vital role to play to engage with decision makers to ensure that consumer perspectives are developed, included, and reflected in final plans and strategies in the development and implementation of CalSAWS.


About Us:

The Alliance to Transform CalFresh co-leads, along with the SF-Marin Food Bank and Western Center on Law and Poverty, the CalSAWS Advocates Group, which meets regularly to develop recommendations and strategies for the SAWS Stakeholder Engagement Workgroup.

Mission Statement: We are advocates and entities who envision a CalSAWS development and implementation that (1) maximizes ease of use for program applicants, participants, and workers, (2) protects consumer rights; and (3) promotes continuous program improvement.


Our Priorities:

Our current priorities are available in the Migration Areas and Planning Priorities document, with  documents exploring our priorities in greater detail, all linked below.

Additionally, we are coordinating with the CalSAWS Stakeholder Engagement Workgroup to develop recommendations for the procurement of services related to four areas: contact centers, the online portal and mobile app, document imaging, and lobby management. We welcome feedback on other areas of concern that could be linked with our mission.


Learn More:

Migration Interest Areas and Planning Priorities – July 2018

System Migration Risk Mitigation – November 2018

Optimizing Data Management in CalSAWS – January 2019

User Centered Design for CalSAWS – April 2019


SAWS Stakeholder Engagement Workgroup landing page is another resource for background materials and meeting agendas


Get Connected:

If you would like to participate in our monthly advocates stakeholder meetings, you can request to be added to our list here.

If you would like to be added to the list for the SAWS Stakeholder Engagement Workgroup, contact Rocky Givon, CDSS, at


For further information on the CalSAWS Advocates Group you may contact:

Jennifer Tracy (ATC)

Cori Racela (WCLP)

Diana Jensen( SFMFB)