Grants for States to Improve TANF
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF) has announced new funding to improve the integrity of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. State human service agencies can apply for the funds to use data and other promising approaches to prevent overpayments to ineligible families and to increase the share of eligible families receiving TANF assistance. According to the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at HHS, less than one-third of eligible families are currently receiving TANF. To improve access to TANF assistance for eligible families in need, the notice indicates that states may elect to:
- Identify very poor families applying for or receiving assistance from other programs (this can include families with children receiving food stamps and families seeking or receiving shelter services or homelessness prevention assistance) who could benefit from TANF assistance;
- Redesign TANF eligibility and recertification processes; and
- Implement program changes to reduce administrative case closures, reduce sanctions or work to reduce sanctions through promoting program compliance, and/or adopt outreach strategies to streamline families' access to assistance.
State agencies may also use other program databases, which could include Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS), to improve data quality and identify potentially eligible families who are not connected to TANF supports.
Applications are due by August 20, 2012. Please visit the Administration for Children & Families website to read the full announcement and access the application.