TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES (TANF)

REPORT | October 2022

Re-Envisioning TANF: Toward an Anti-Racist Program That Meaningfully Serves Families

An America where no one experiences poverty is possible. Already, the U.S. has programs with the potential to make this vision a reality, including programs that provide cash assistance, like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The current TANF program provides very little cash assistance and is marked by stark racial disparities, but it has the potential to reduce child poverty, increase economic security, and advance racial equity. This report offers a vision for an anti-racist approach to the TANF program, with new statutory goals and policy recommendations to advance racial justice.

Areeba Haider, Ayan Goran, Cara Brumfield, and Laura Tatum

REPORT | August 2021

The Lasting Legacy of Exclusion: How the Law that Brought Us Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Excluded Immigrant Families & Institutionalized Racism in our Social Support System

In 1996, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act (PRWORA) radically transformed our system of social supports. In addition to decimating cash assistance for families, the law’s immigrant exclusions exacerbated economic and racial inequities and harmed children and families in the 25 years since. This report—published jointly with the Center for the Study of Social Policy—examines the racist roots of PRWORA’s anti-immigrant exclusions and highlights the law’s role in institutionalizing and legitimizing anti-immigrant exclusion in a range of public benefits and tax credits.

Elisa Minoff, Isabella Camacho-Craft, Valery Martinez, & Indivar Dutta-Gupta

REPORT | February 2019

Structurally Unsound: The Impact of Using Block Grants to Fund Economic Security Programs

This analysis finds that block grants (characterized by capped amounts of federal funding to states and other entities paired with expansive flexibility for how the funds are spent) are fundamentally ill-equipped to support basic living standards compared to other structures, especially those that meaningfully guarantee access to adequate benefits or services. Specifically, block grants struggle to respond to need, can be less accountable to program goals and to the people who participate in the program, and can exacerbate inequities–especially racial inequities.

by Cara Brumfield, Funke Aderonmu, Kali Grant, Aileen Carr, Indivar Dutta-Gupta, Isabella Camacho-Craft, Doug Steiger & Peter Edelman

OP-ED | April 2015

TANF’s not all right

Though TANF seemed promising to some in its first four years, evidence from the last 15 raises alarms and suggests a need for new strategies to help disadvantaged families.

FEATURE | October 2014

Ten Solutions to Fight Economic Inequality

The center joins some of DC’s leading experts on poverty and inequality to identify top solutions to ensure a more fair U.S. economy.

POLICY MEMO | February 2015

Comments on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Reauthorization

The center submitted comments on the discussion draft of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) reauthorization bill to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources.

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