History and Background

The Beginning of Riverside County's Public Assistance

The Social Security Act, passed by the United States Congress in 1935, provided enabling legislation for statewide public assistance programs. Each state created a State Plan of Operation for approval by the Federal Department of Health, Education and Welfare. State policy and legislation were written within the scope of Federal guidelines to develop statewide programs. The California State Legislature established a welfare program, which is County administered with State supervision.

Riverside County: A History of Social Consciousness

1923 Riverside County launched a public welfare program with two employees.
1939 The number of staff had grown to 52, though some of them worked only part-time
1949 The State assumed program operation for a year, it took 75 employees to maintain 5,393 adult aid and 382 child aid cases
Today, the Department of Public of Public Social Service employs approximately 3,400 staff in 138 classifications. They handle work associated with approximately:
  • 18,000 cases in the In-Home Supportive Services program and receive approximately 300 referrals per month to our Adult Protective Services Program.
  • 5,425 cases in the Child Protective Services Programs and receive an average of 2,477 referrals per month.
  • 90,000 cases in the Medi-Cal, CalFresh, General Relief, and CalWORKs Temporary Assistance Programs.
  • 250,000 cases in the Medi-Cal, CalFresh, General Relief, and CalWORKs Temporary Assistance Programs. .

Over the past 90 years, the Department's work has been conducted in a variety of places: from 1935-39, in the basement of the County Courthouse; during the 40's, in a former church and an old bank building; in a flower shop, a bus depot, and an abandoned barracks. Presently, the Department of Public Social Services has offices located throughout the County in Blythe, Indio, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Banning, Hemet, Perris, Temecula, Lake Elsinore, Norco, Arlington, Moreno Valley, and Riverside.