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DCFAS/CPS: California Automated Response & Engagement System (C.A.R.E.S.)

On September 15th, 2023, UPE met with the County to discuss the need for Social Workers (SW) and Clerical staff (CS) to test CARES, which will eventually replace CWS/CMS and the training modules that come along with the system.

The Department stated it needs one to four (1-4) testers from the SW and CS classifications across various programs to spend three to four hours (3-4) per week for two (2) weeks (October 16th through October 29th), using fictitious data. The County’s “criteria” for volunteers are that they have permission from their supervisors and program managers, be in case carrying positions, and be able to complete the testing within the allocated timeframe while also completing their normal workload. UPE countered that it sounded as if the Department wanted to cherry-pick their favorites, whether or not they were union-affiliated. UPE offered to give names of union-affiliated staff to the County to choose from in hopes of removing the favoritism that we all know supervisors or management sometimes bestow on staff.

The County was emphatic in saying they were unwilling to offer “blanket workload relief” in hopes that the volunteers would give up their own time or rearrange their workdays. The County said the volunteers could request workload relief or overtime from their supervisors as per the current overtime policy but would not guarantee that the volunteers would receive anything. This is unacceptable. The Department continues to be out of touch with what is really going on; they are understaffed, and our members are overworked.

UPE will provide the County with some names of 005 and 008 staff; however, reassess their willingness to participate in this testing as they will likely not be granted any time for their assistance, and they will be expected to keep up with the testing timeframe as well as their own duties which include home visits, chronos, court reports and more that have their own hard deadlines.

UPE feels this ask from the County is unreasonable, and furthermore, this system will be going into use in 2026 with or without Sacramento County staff input.

A huge thank you goes to the advocates, Sarah Singleton and Eric Booker



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