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Implementation of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Block Grant

An Overview

By Mary R. Mannix, Henry A. Freedman, Marc Cohan & Chris Lamb

Abolishing the nation's 61-year commitment to a federal safety net for poor families with children, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act repealed the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program, which was aiding some five million families, and replaced it with the fundamentally different Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. This article briefly reviews the state TANF implementation process and discusses key choices and constraints states face under TANF, with particular emphasis on areas where advocacy efforts are needed.

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