Brief

The U.S. federal welfare program is designed to help the millions of Americans unemployed or mired in jobs that don't pay the bills, provide adequate benefits or offer advancement opportunity. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) was created to move poor people off the welfare roles. At the time of this report, states were reexamining their TANF programs and had the opportunity to set new definitions for program success and measure whether TANF was effective in leading families out of poverty and toward economic self-sufficiency, This report encouraged such action. 

April 2, 2006

In This Report, You’ll Learn

  1. 1

    Why states should redefine success for TANF.

  2. 2

    How redefining TANF success to include self-sufficiency will help families out of poverty.

  3. 3

    5 key issues for state legislatures to address while crafting TANF legislation.

Key Takeaway

The Working Poor Families Project

The Working Poor Families Project encouraged the adoption of two primary objectives for state TANF programs: 1) establish economic self-sufficiency as a goal for TANF. 2) measure success toward this goal and related outcomes on a routine basis.  

Statements & Quotations