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A Needed Transition: Lessons from Illinois about Teen Parent TANF Rules

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Publication Date: July 2005

Publisher(s): Center for Law and Social Policy

Author(s): Lacinda Hummel; Jodie Levin-Epstein

Special Collection: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Topic: Social conditions (Public welfare and social services)

Type: Brief

Coverage: Illinois

Abstract:

TANF legislation includes two rules specific to minor parents (parents under age 18). One rule requires that minor parents live in an approved arrangement, usually with their parents. The other rule requires that minor parents typically participate in education leading to a high school diploma or GED.

This issue brief reviews how Illinois approached eligibility under the two minor parent rules, and it explores why and how Illinois moved forward with a transitional compliance administrative rule. It also examines the effect the rule has had--notably that the process led to a better understanding of minor parentsÂ’ individual circumstances and thus led to fewer inappropriate denials.