Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) provides assistance and work opportunities to needy families by granting states federal funds and wide flexibility to develop and implement their own welfare programs.

While the intent of the TANF program is to move welfare recipients, most of whom are women with dependent children, into the workforce, the effect has often been to force them into low-wage, dead-end jobs.

Changes to TANF law could transform the program into a federal funding source that truly helps needy families become self-sufficient. An increase in the education and training opportunities available within the TANF system would go a long way toward giving low-income women the skills they need to succeed in jobs with career potential and upward mobility.

Policy Resources

Final Rule: Implications for Education and Training

Women Work! Comments on TANF Interim Final Rule

Press Release: Ten Years of TANF, No Cause for Celebration

Revised Work Activities: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

Policy Brief: In the Wedding Business