TANF gives out over 18 billion dollars, and helps thousands of needy families.

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 grant program.

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 TANF program. The country has been divided into sections with regard to Health and Human Services, most of which include several States. Find where your 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 Assistance.

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.


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