TANF Reform in DC: Policy Snapshot
How has TANF historically served DC children and families? What can we expect TANF reform in the DC to look like moving forward? We dive into these questions and more in our policy snapshot.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a cash assistance and career development program that provides services to eligible families with dependent children. In 1996, TANF replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program (AFCD) as the nation’s primary cash assistance program for needy families. TANF was intended to incentivize work-force participation and self-sufficiency for recipients: while eligible families could receive cash assistance under the AFCD indefinitely, TANF limited most families to five years of cash assistance.
TANF is funded through both a federal block grant and local dollars. While federal law mandates a five-year (60-month) time limit for TANF benefits, states have considerable discretion over eligibility, benefits and program rules.