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date: 03 December 2022

Temporary Assistance for Needy Familieslocked

Temporary Assistance for Needy Familieslocked

  • Catherine K. LawrenceCatherine K. LawrenceAssociate Research Professor, School of Social Welfare, University of Albany


In 1996, The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act repealed the 60-year-old national welfare program of Aid to Families with Dependent Children and replaced it with a new cash assistance program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). This law introduced a new generation of rules and regulations for delivering cash and other assistance to families who are poor, and it fundamentally changed the way the United States assists such families and their children. Opinions regarding the success of TANF and its impact on families vary; welfare caseloads have declined since TANF implementation, but economic self-sufficiency eludes many families.


  • Couples and Families
  • Macro Practice
  • Policy and Advocacy
  • Poverty

Updated in this version

Demographics and statistics updated. Citations and bibliography expanded and updated.

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