Implementing the TANF Changes in the Deficit Reduction Act: "Win-Win" Solutions for Families and States (Second edition)
Publication Date: February 2007
Special Collection: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Coverage: United States
In the coming months, states will face key choices as they decide the next direction for their Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs. After a lengthy and contentious reauthorization process, Congress enacted changes to TANF in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA) that substantially increase the proportion of assistance recipients who must participate in work activities for a specified number of hours each week. In June 2006, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued new regulations that implement these changes and significantly limit states' flexibility in assigning recipients to work activities. The new requirements will be challenging for most states to meet and likely will require increased investments in welfare-to-work
programs and work supports.