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TANF Policy, Services, and Benefits
TANF Policy, Services, and Benefits
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program is administered by the Office of Family Assistance within the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. TANF was created by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA). The program provides temporary financial assistance while aiming to get people off assistance, primarily through employment. In 2005, changes were enacted to the TANF program under the Deficit Reduction Act that changed the caseload credit and, in essence, increased the proportion of TANF participants who must participate in work activities for a specified number of hours each week.
Efforts have been made at the Federal and State level to improve TANF programs and services by focusing on increasing engagement of TANF participants to meet the employment requirements of TANF, while providing comprehensive employment support services to TANF families. The TANF Policy, Services, and Benefits section provides access to this research and other resources relating to TANF policies and services.
View recommendations from the SSRC Librarian on TANF Policy, Services, and Benefits and relevant Federal laws and regulations below.
Research on TANF frequently focuses on diversion and emergency assistance, sanctions (or policies which prohibit an individual from participating in TANF if they fail to comply with program requirements), caseload size and composition, TANF child-only cases, time limits for participating in TANF, and work requirements. Click the phrases below to view selected research and resources relevant to each topic and self-sufficiency.
Of the 1.8 million low-income parents that participate in education and training activities, most are single parents of children under five who also hold full-time jobs. Many pursuing additional education are on more than one type of public assistance program, often facing competing requirements to maintain benefits--some prioritizing work, others emphasizing training and education. The Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Program, established in 1996 by the Personal Responsibility and Work Responsibility Act, marked a dramatic shift away from cash assistance, requiring participants to work in order to keep their benefits. Recently, several companion programs have begun to support education and training as a prerequisite to work and economic stability.
Written specifically for TANF administrators, this guide is an introduction to labor market information, including what it is, who produces the data, uses for the data, and key distinctions among types of data. The goal of the guide is to help TANF administrators identify opportunities for this information to support their work and be useful to TANF clients. It also aims to create a common language between TANF practitioners and staff in state departments of labor to promote coordination and collaboration. (Author abstract)
This guide features a collection of resources for TANF administrators and other practitioners on career exploration and assessment, career pathways and sector strategies, and labor market information. These resources may be helpful for those working with TANF recipients and low-income families in connecting their clients to jobs with wages that support self-sufficiency.
This report presents findings from an intervention designed to increase the number of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients who “reengaged” in Los Angeles County’s welfare-to-work program. (edited author abstract)
This Information Memorandum discusses opportunities for TANF agencies to strengthen program outcomes by developing two-generation approaches, which meet the needs of children and parents together. (Author abstract)
Federal laws and regulations establish a framework which guides the design and administration of state and local Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs. Click the first link below to view legislative resources specific to TANF. Click the second link to view regulatory resources specific to TANF. Click the third link to browse additional self-sufficiency legislation and policy in the SSRC library.