Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
The TANF Program
The TANF program was established by Congress in 1996, and was
implemented to replace the Aid to Families with Dependent Children
welfare program. In 2008, it is estimated that the Federal
government will dedicate $20.9 billion dollars to the TANF block
The TANF block grant program is viewed as one of the most successful
federal government grant programs in many years. The number of
individual cash recipients has dropped by 60% since the start of the
program, and the monthly earnings of those employed increased 49%
over the five year period from 1996 to 2001.
These grants enable States to provide short term grant money to
families in need. The goal of this program is to help those families
with children in promoting employment, self-sufficiency and
responsibility. The targeted funding is designed to ensure that
children can be effectively cared for in their own homes or in those
of their relatives, to minimize parental dependence on government
subsidies and funds in the promotion of job skills and training, to
encourage and support two parent families, and to help reduce the
frequency of out-of-wedlock pregnancies.
The TANF program is federally funded as a Block Grant. The Federal
government provides States with funds so that the States themselves
can design, implement and operate their TANF programs to suit the
States' needs. It is the States' responsibility to ensure that their
programming meets the targeted goals of the TANF program.
Only States can apply for TANF grant funding. Every State then
operates it's own programs. The State determines eligibility
requirements for individuals accessing the grant funds, but
typically grant funds are supplied as work training opportunities,
direct cash grants, and other direct assistance to families in need.
Typical eligibility requirements for TANF funding include being
pregnant or responsible for a child under the age of 19, have a low
income, and be under employed, unemployed or soon to be unemployed.
Those seeking TANF funding should do so at their State level. Learn
more about the
The country has been divided into sections with regard to Health and
Human Services, most of which include several States. Find where
regional HHS office is located.
At the federal level, the TANF program is run by the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services through the Administration for Children
& Families. The program is overseen by the Office of Family
A multitude of low income government grant programs exist to help
all Americans. Learn more about the
Able Government Grant Resource and how it can help you
find the grant programs you need.
Able Government Grants