Other Aids » California Assistance Programs » Find Support for Expectant and Parenting Teenagers with Cal-Learn

Find Support for Expectant and Parenting Teenagers with Cal-Learn

By IntFormalities
Updated on June 12, 2024
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Are you a pregnant teenager or do you have a family member who is? The Cal Learn program offers financial aid for teenage expectant parents who need help to complete their High School Diploma program. This comprehensive guide explains how Cal-Learn works, the program’s eligibility requirements, and how to apply for the teenage parenting program

Two women collaborating on a computer, engaged in the Cal-Learn Program.
Cal-learn provides financial support to pregnant or parenting teenagers under 19 to complete their high school education or its equivalent.

What Is Cal-Learn? 

Cal-learn is one of California’s government programs for teenage parents. The program is available in all California counties. It is run by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and is open to pregnant and parenting teenagers in the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program. 

Benefits of the Cal-Learn Program

Cal-learn’s goal is to encourage pregnant and parenting teens to graduate from high school and move on to higher education, vocational school, or get a job. To achieve these objectives, it provides three simultaneous services to qualified teens: 

  • Intensive case management through Planned Parenthood Mar Monte (PPMM) to assist beneficiaries in obtaining high school education, healthcare, and social services.
  • Supportive services to subsidize their child care, transportation, and educational expenses beneficiaries require to attend school.
  • Bonuses to discourage qualified teens from dropping out of school and reward them for good grades. The financial incentives for the program participants include a $100 bonus up to four times annually based on report card results and a one-off $500 bonus after graduating from high school or getting an equivalent diploma certificate (GED or CHSPE). 

Eligible teens can also obtain health and social services benefits for childcare and transportation to attend school successfully. 

Who Is Eligible for Cal-Learn?

Pregnant or parenting teens in the CalWORKs program can apply for Cal-Learn benefits. The Cal-Learn eligibility requirements include: 

  • Being under the age of 19
  • Living in the same home as the child 
  • Not have graduated from high school or its equivalent 
  • Not being in foster care

Though Cal-Learn is dedicated to teens under 19, eligible 19-year-olds may continue to receive its benefits voluntarily until they complete high school or turn 20

Moreover, there are educational requirements a teenager must meet to be eligible for Cal-Learn. These include:

  • Attending a full-time academic program to earn a high school diploma or its equivalent 
  • Getting a report card with grades that average C or better. If you get average grades below a D, you can receive a $100 sanction four times a year. 

How To Enroll for Cal-Learn 

The Cal-Learn application is voluntary, and you may enroll in the program until you turn 20 or graduate from high school (whichever comes first). Different county social services agencies offer Cal-Learn services for free. To find a nearby office, contact your county social services agency.

Follow the steps below to join and maintain your status in the Cal-Learn program:

  1. Visit your local County Welfare Development office 
  2. Fill out the application form by filling in your personal details, pregnancy or parenting information, and details of your education or vocational programs
  3. Submit supporting documents, including proof of age, evidence of pregnancy or parenting status, proof of address, proof of income, etc. 
  4. Attend orientation sessions and other program activities like parenting classes 

If your Cal-learn application is successful, the program will connect you to an Adolescent Family Life Program agency. The agency will also assign a Cal-Learn Case Manager (CM) to you for various case management services. The CM is your guide throughout the program. Some of the things your CM can help you with include:

  • Developing a report card schedule
  • Finding suitable schools for you and your baby, 
  • Enrolling you in childcare and parenting classes
  • Providing you with teen pregnancy resources
  • Helping you find other teenage pregnancy programs and services near you. 

Cal-Learn has strict penalties, which are applicable if you don’t maintain good grades or submit your report card when due. For instance, your CalWORKs amount may be reduced to $50 for two consecutive months if you fail to turn in your report when due. 

Cal-Learn and Other Welfare Services 

Cal-Learn beneficiaries may also apply for other welfare services for California residents. These include the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), which provides low-income women and children up to 5 years old with food and health education. 

You can also apply to CalFresh for food stamps and monthly food benefits or Medi-Cal Access Program (MCAP) for your healthcare support/coverage and that of your baby at no cost. Your Cal-Learn CM can advise you on these other benefits or other available teen pregnancy services. 

Get Help When Pregnant or Parenting as a Teen 

Cal-Learn is one of the most accessible channels for getting financial support when pregnant or nursing a baby as a teenager. The program provides funds throughout high school and offers different case management services to ease your pregnancy or parenting process. 

Various Adolescent Family Life Program agencies provide Cal-learn guidance and application services free of charge. To enroll in the program, you can contact the nearest agency in your county. 

If you have further questions, you can speak to your family’s Eligibility Worker or read through the Cal-Learn handbook to learn more about the program. 


What is considered teenage pregnancy?

Teenage pregnancy happens when a woman less than 20 gets pregnant. Such teens are eligible for Cal-Learn and can apply through a county social services agency near them.

What are other resources for adolescent pregnancy in California?

Besides Cal-Learn, pregnant or parenting teens in the CalWORKs program can apply for other teenage pregnancy services like MCAP, CalFresh, and WIC

Share this post



You might also like...


Use our Contact Form to tell us what other topics you would be interested in learning about…