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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: United States Government Accountability Office
    Year: 2011

    Between fiscal years 2000 and 2008, TANF child-only cases increased slightly but represented a greater share of the overall TANF caseload because cases with adults in the assistance unit experienced a significant decline. The national composition of the TANF child-only caseload has remained relatively unchanged since 2000. At the end of 2010, the majority of children receiving TANF lived with parents who were ineligible for cash assistance, and one-third lived with nonparent caregivers who were relatives or unrelated adults. However, this composition varies by state. For example, in Tennessee, almost 60 percent of the TANF child-only caseload included children living with nonparent caregivers, compared with about 30 percent in Texas.

    Most nonparent caregivers in TANF child-only cases are unmarried women who are over 50 years old, and research suggests that they often have low incomes and health problems. The children tend to be related to their caregiver, who is often a grandparent, and they remain on assistance for at least 2 years. Some of these children live with...

    Between fiscal years 2000 and 2008, TANF child-only cases increased slightly but represented a greater share of the overall TANF caseload because cases with adults in the assistance unit experienced a significant decline. The national composition of the TANF child-only caseload has remained relatively unchanged since 2000. At the end of 2010, the majority of children receiving TANF lived with parents who were ineligible for cash assistance, and one-third lived with nonparent caregivers who were relatives or unrelated adults. However, this composition varies by state. For example, in Tennessee, almost 60 percent of the TANF child-only caseload included children living with nonparent caregivers, compared with about 30 percent in Texas.

    Most nonparent caregivers in TANF child-only cases are unmarried women who are over 50 years old, and research suggests that they often have low incomes and health problems. The children tend to be related to their caregiver, who is often a grandparent, and they remain on assistance for at least 2 years. Some of these children live with nonparent caregivers as a result of parental abuse or neglect, substance abuse, incarceration, or mental illness, but these circumstances may or may not be known by the child welfare agency.

    The level of benefits and services available to children living with nonparents depends on the extent to which a child welfare agency becomes involved in the family's situation and the licensing status of the caregiver. Children in foster care with licensed foster parents are generally eligible for greater benefits and services than children in other living arrangements, who may receive TANF child-only assistance. For one child, the national average minimum monthly foster care payment is $511 while the average TANF child-only payment is $249. Most children live with relatives who do not receive foster care payments because they are not licensed foster parents or they are in informal arrangements without child welfare involvement. Other factors influencing the assistance made available to children in a relative's care include available federal funding, state budget constraints, and increased state efforts to identify relative caregivers to prevent children from being placed in the foster care system.

    Several state and local efforts are under way to coordinate TANF and child welfare services to better serve children living with relative caregivers, but information sharing is a challenge. Coordination efforts include colocating TANF and child welfare services and having staff from each agency work together to help relative caregivers access services. ACF currently provides grants to states and tribes to support collaboration between TANF and child welfare programs and plans to disseminate the findings. However, information and data sharing between the two programs does not occur consistently, which can hinder relatives' access to available benefits. For example, although HHS provides funding, guidance, and technical assistance to promote data sharing between TANF and child welfare programs, more than half of states reported obstacles to sharing data, such as privacy concerns. GAO recommends the Secretary of HHS direct ACF to provide more guidance on data sharing opportunities. HHS agreed with GAO's recommendation.

    (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Farrell, Mary; Fishman, Michael; Laud, Stephanie; Allen, Vincena
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    Under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA)of 1996, most families receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) are subject to work requirements and time limits on benefit receipt.  However, one portion of the TANF caseload, cases where only a child or children are receiving assistance, are generally exempt from these federal requirements.  These "child-only" cases are not currently growing in absolute numbers but are becoming an increasing proportion of the overall TANF caseload.  In 1998, child-only cases made up 23 percent of the TANF caseload nationally, ranging from 10 percent to 47 percent of state caseloads.  This has led to increasing interest in understanding the characteristics of child-only cases and the program services they receive.

    A variety of circumstances result in child-only cases.  In some cases, the child is not living with a parent, but with a relative, who chooses not to be included in the assistance unit or whose income and assets preclude him or her from receiving cash assistance.  In other situations...

    Under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA)of 1996, most families receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) are subject to work requirements and time limits on benefit receipt.  However, one portion of the TANF caseload, cases where only a child or children are receiving assistance, are generally exempt from these federal requirements.  These "child-only" cases are not currently growing in absolute numbers but are becoming an increasing proportion of the overall TANF caseload.  In 1998, child-only cases made up 23 percent of the TANF caseload nationally, ranging from 10 percent to 47 percent of state caseloads.  This has led to increasing interest in understanding the characteristics of child-only cases and the program services they receive.

    A variety of circumstances result in child-only cases.  In some cases, the child is not living with a parent, but with a relative, who chooses not to be included in the assistance unit or whose income and assets preclude him or her from receiving cash assistance.  In other situations, the child is living with a parent, but the parent is a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipient, a non-qualified alien, a qualified alien who entered the country after August 1996, a sanctioned adult, or otherwise excluded.

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) contracted with The Lewin Group to obtain more information about the characteristics and trends of the child-only population.  This report describes how federal and state policies affect child-only caseloads, discusses the national TANF and child-only caseload trends, and examines the characteristics of child-only cases.  For a more in-depth review, The Lewin Group focused on three states — California, Florida, and Missouri — interviewing state and county officials and staff, conducting case file reviews in one county in each state, and analyzing administrative data. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Palla, Seri; Kakuska, Courtney J.; Hercik, Jeanette M.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2003

    Under the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, child-only cases—those in which no adult is included in the cash grant—have become an increasing proportion of State TANF caseloads in recent years. Child-only cases are either parental or non-parental – parental cases are those in which the parent is resident in the home, but ineligible for TANF receipt for such reasons as time limits,1 sanction, alien status, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) receipt, or previous drug felony conviction. Non-parental cases are those in which neither biological parent is present, and another adult, usually a relative, is the primary caregiver. Research indicates that the percentage of child-only cases relative to overall national caseloads increased 200 percent in one decade –from 12 percent in 1990 to nearly 35 percent by 2000.  In some States, over fifty percent of their FY2002 caseloads were child-only.

    In addition to the variability in the proportion of a State’s total caseload accounted for by child-only cases, the current research indicates that the composition of the...

    Under the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, child-only cases—those in which no adult is included in the cash grant—have become an increasing proportion of State TANF caseloads in recent years. Child-only cases are either parental or non-parental – parental cases are those in which the parent is resident in the home, but ineligible for TANF receipt for such reasons as time limits,1 sanction, alien status, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) receipt, or previous drug felony conviction. Non-parental cases are those in which neither biological parent is present, and another adult, usually a relative, is the primary caregiver. Research indicates that the percentage of child-only cases relative to overall national caseloads increased 200 percent in one decade –from 12 percent in 1990 to nearly 35 percent by 2000.  In some States, over fifty percent of their FY2002 caseloads were child-only.

    In addition to the variability in the proportion of a State’s total caseload accounted for by child-only cases, the current research indicates that the composition of the child-only caseload across the States varies as well. In some States, for example, there is a significantly higher proportion of relative (non-parental) cases, while in others, SSI, immigrant, and sanctioned or time-limited parental cases are more common.

    In response to these trends, the OFA Peer Technical Assistance Network conducted discussions with State TANF administrators around the country to assess their current policies and programs designed to meet the needs of the child-only caseload, and to gauge their level of interest in participating a Roundtable on this topic. The responses were overwhelming – we gathered significant information on the current child-only environment, and more than thirty States expressed an interest in the Roundtable concept. As a result, eleven States participated in the first Roundtables entitled Developing Strategies to Address the Child-Only Caseload held April 8-9, 2003 in Colorado Springs (El Paso County), Colorado. In response to the positive feedback received following the first Roundtable, a second Roundtable was held in Trenton, New Jersey on June 3-4, 2003. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Inspector General
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2001

    This report examines the processes used by State Child Support Enforcement and TANF agencies to transfer current child support payments to custodial parents upon exit from TANF. We also examined the processes States use to distribute child support to current TANF recipients. All data collection occurred between February and April 2001. We focused our case file review on the transfer of support in paying cases. We did not examine TANF and CSE agencies’ enforcement efforts to collect support for families in non-paying cases. (author introduction)

    This report examines the processes used by State Child Support Enforcement and TANF agencies to transfer current child support payments to custodial parents upon exit from TANF. We also examined the processes States use to distribute child support to current TANF recipients. All data collection occurred between February and April 2001. We focused our case file review on the transfer of support in paying cases. We did not examine TANF and CSE agencies’ enforcement efforts to collect support for families in non-paying cases. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: U.S. Government Accountability Office (U.S. GAO)
    Year: 1999

    As a condition of receiving federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds, states are required to operate Child Support Enforcement (CSE) programs. Families receiving TANF are required to participate in the CSE program; families not receiving TANF may also request CSE services. However, since 1994, an increasing number of states have begun to pay out more to operate their CSE programs than they receive back in reduced welfare caseloads. At the request of the U.S. House subcommittee on Human Resources, the Government Accounting Office sought to determine how CSE welfare collections had changed since 1994, and how declines in CSE welfare collections have affected CSE program funding. Annual report data from the Office of Child Support Enforcement were analyzed, and interviews were conducted with CSE officials in seven states experiencing declines in their retained collections. The study found that despite significant declines in TANF caseloads and CSE welfare caseloads, total state CSE welfare collections nationwide increased 11 percent between 1994 and 1997. While...

    As a condition of receiving federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds, states are required to operate Child Support Enforcement (CSE) programs. Families receiving TANF are required to participate in the CSE program; families not receiving TANF may also request CSE services. However, since 1994, an increasing number of states have begun to pay out more to operate their CSE programs than they receive back in reduced welfare caseloads. At the request of the U.S. House subcommittee on Human Resources, the Government Accounting Office sought to determine how CSE welfare collections had changed since 1994, and how declines in CSE welfare collections have affected CSE program funding. Annual report data from the Office of Child Support Enforcement were analyzed, and interviews were conducted with CSE officials in seven states experiencing declines in their retained collections. The study found that despite significant declines in TANF caseloads and CSE welfare caseloads, total state CSE welfare collections nationwide increased 11 percent between 1994 and 1997. While declines in CSE welfare cases might have been expected to lower CSE welfare collections for the states and federal government, the program's ability to intercept more money from delinquent noncustodial parents' income tax refunds more than offset the effects of the caseload declines. Although declining caseloads have resulted in lower retained collections in seven states, CSE officials in those states said the decline did not negatively affect their CSE program funding; the way a state chooses to finance its CSE program determines its sensitivity to fluctuations in CSE welfare collections. It was recommended that Congress require states to charge a minimum percentage service fee for each successful non-welfare CSE collection to offset cost shifts caused by declining caseloads. (author abstract)

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