Assessment & Planning Toolkit

This toolkit helps you explore and prepare for service collaboration between CalWORKs and Child Welfare Services, including what type of Linkages program best fits your service environment. Here you’ll find tools and guidance on how to get Linkages up and running for the first time, reinvigorate after a lull, or expand in a new direction.

Conduct Assessment

Linkages is a purposeful way of coming together to serve families. Whether your county is new to Linkages or it’s time to revamp your Linkages program, it begins with understanding what’s happening currently.

For counties just starting out, use the Linkages Readiness Assessment to gauge your readiness and capacity to proceed with putting Linkages in place. This tool will help you discover if your county has families who can benefit from Linkages and if your service system can be flexible enough to work in partnership.

Download Readiness Assessment

For counties looking to breathe new life into an existing Linkages program, use the Linkages Renovation Assessment to identify current strengths and areas for growth or improvement. This tool will help your planning team re-think which aspects of Linkages need transformation–from serving more families to strengthening collaborative partnerships to achieving better results.

Download Renovation Assessment

Develop A Work Plan

Based on your assessment results, planning for Linkages can begin. Document a clear path from where you are now to the end goal–either launching Linkages for the first time or renovating an existing program. It is important that leadership supports development of a work plan and empowers the Planning Team to use the plan as a monitoring tool for staying on course.

Use the Linkages Work Plan Template to document the tasks, resources and timeframes for getting Linkages launched or revised in your location.


Refer to the Work Plan Example for a sneak peek at what a completed Work Plan looks like.


Learn what Linkages 2.0 collaborations looks like and how work planning can help launch your effort by viewing our Preparing Your Team to Create a Linkages 2.0 Collaboration recorded webinar.

Click to view

Customize Your Program

Linkages is not a one-size-fits-all program; each county determines the nature of service coordination that best meets their needs. The Program Design Road Map provides a step-by-step guide for creating or modifying your Linkages program. Your Implementation Team works together to choose the target population to be served, design the type of service coordination strategies needed and develop the policy and practice protocols for staff to follow.

Program Design Road Map

The Program Design Road Map includes many examples from successful Linkages programs across California to help you along the way.

View Program Design Road Map

Assessment & Planning Lessons Learned

With a clear concept of your Linkages program, you can now focus on the details of implementing your program. Depending on your areas of focus, you can refer to the other Toolkits for information and guidance. Finally, it’s worthwhile to learn what other counties have experienced and recommend in terms of implementation their Linkages Programs.