Assisting Two-Parent Families through TANF

Research Report

Assisting Two-Parent Families through TANF

Abstract

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program offers cash assistance to single- and two-parent families, but eligible two-parent families participate at lower rates. Drawing on statistical analyses and interviews with program staff and participants, this study examines the characteristics of two-parent TANF families, state policy choices and service delivery, and families’ experiences with TANF. Two-parent families are diverse. State policies generally treat single- and two-parent families alike, with some exceptions. Lower program participation rates among two-parent families appear to result from differences in TANF practices as well as client preferences or perceptions.

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