Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

Temporary Assistance for Needy Family (TANF) was introduced in 1996 by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA). TANF replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), which was the primary cash assistance program for low-income families. The implementation of TANF represents a watershed programmatic change to public assistance in the United States because it brought about significant changes to the goals and nature of the program. It was the culmination of efforts by the U.S. government to end welfare. In the decades before the implementation of TANF, several steps were taken to severely restrict the receipt of cash assistance. These efforts date back to at least the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) of 1981. The act represented the first major shift ...

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