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Posts by Ife Floyd

Examining TANF, in Brief

April 13, 2017

We’ve issued policy briefs on three key issues regarding the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant:  whether it reaches most poor families, whether benefits give them adequate help to meet basic needs, and whether state TANF spending focuses on core welfare reform areas.  Unfortunately, TANF falls short in all three...


Arizona’s TANF Experience Highlights Problems with Block-Granting Safety Net Programs

March 8, 2017

The poor performance of Arizona’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program shows why policymakers should not convert other key safety net programs to block grants. The flexibility that states get under the TANF block grant has let Arizona do little to help...

Father and Kids Outside

Louisiana Spends Just 11 Percent of TANF Funds in Core Welfare Reform Areas

August 22, 2016

Louisiana spends just 11 percent of its state and federal dollars under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program in core welfare reform areas, a new report from the Louisiana Budget Project using 2015 state financial data finds.  The state spent 8 percent on basic assistance, 1 percent on...

Louisiana Spends Just 11 Percent of TANF Funds in Core Welfare Reform Areas

The Decay of the Cash Assistance Safety Net Under TANF, in Two Maps

August 22, 2016

States reach far fewer poor families under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) — created 20 years ago today — than under its predecessor, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC).  These two maps show how dramatically the cash assistance safety net has shrunk. 

At the end of AFDC, in 1995-96, most states provided cash assistance to more than 50 families for every 100...


After 20 Years, TANF Provides Little to Poor Families

July 20, 2016

Twenty years after Temporary Assistance for Needy Families’ (TANF) inception, few poor families actually receive cash assistance under it and, for those who do, state benefit levels are...

After 20 Years, TANF Provides a Weaker Safety Net for Poor Families

Arizona Cuts TANF Time Limit to Shortest Nationwide

July 5, 2016

Arizona’s decision to cut its time limit for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) from 24 months to 12 months takes effect this month, making it the nation’s shortest such limit.  About 1,000 families will lose assistance in July as a result, and...

TANF Weakening as a Safety Net in Arizona

Kansas Cuts TANF Time Limits — Again

May 16, 2016

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback will sign legislation today to shorten the state’s time limit for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), marking the third time in five years that Kansas has cut its time limit, which will now be 24 months.

These cuts highlight the risk of giving states control over more safety net programs.  Shortening time limits hurts the very families that need...

TANF Weakening as a Safety Net in Kansas

Subsidized Jobs Need Dedicated Funding

April 20, 2016

Subsidized jobs need a substantial, dedicated federal funding stream to “better promote the development of programs to effectively help the sizeable share of the working-age population with serious or multiple barriers to employment,” a new...


Subsidized Jobs Programs Work, New Report Shows

April 15, 2016

A new report from Georgetown’s Center on Poverty and Inequality draws on 40 years of evidence from subsidized jobs programs to call for increased federal, state, and local investments in these strategies, describing them as “...


Low TANF Benefits Cover Only Fraction of Housing Costs

March 11, 2016

Matthew Desmond’s new book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, shows how unaffordable housing costs push many poor families further into destitution.  Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (...

TANF Benefits Fall Well Short of Housing Costs