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TANF: A Safety Net for Few Poor Families

June 17, 2015

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF), the cornerstone of 1996’s welfare reform, is far from the success that some conservative policymakers claim.  It provided a temporary safety net in the form of cash benefits to only 26 families for every 100 in poverty in 2013, as we explain in a...

In Focus: TANF's Role as a Safety Net Has Declined Sharply

Support for Home Visiting Programs Slated to Expire

February 13, 2015

A federal-state partnership that supports home visiting programs in every state will expire March 31 unless Congress extends it, jeopardizing programs with a proven record of strengthening high-risk families and saving money over the long term.

The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program funds programs through which trained professionals — often nurses,...

A State-by-State Look at TANF

November 19, 2014

This interactive map provides a wealth of information on state Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs, which  have weakened significantly as a safety net since TANF’s creation in the 1996 welfare law.

In Focus: A State-by-State Look at TANF

State Welfare Benefits Continue Shrinking

October 31, 2014

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash benefits for the nation’s poorest families with children fell again in purchasing power in 2014 and are now at least 20 percent below their inflation-adjusted 1996 levels in 38 states, our new report explains. As the country moves past the economic downturn and state...

It’s Time to Bolster TANF

October 21, 2013

Cash assistance benefits for the nation’s poorest families with children fell again in purchasing power in 2013, we explain in our annual update of state benefits under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.  Seven states increased TANF grant amounts last year — and encouragingly, no state cut benefits —...

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