This brief is part of a series focused on how well major federal safety net programs serve young people—defined as those ages 14 to 24. The series pays special attention to young people who live independently. This brief focuses on the circumstances under which young people are able to access cash assistance to help them meet their basic needs through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and what is known about the program’s effectiveness for this population. It is an initial exploration of issues relevant to young people, based on a quick review of literature and conversations with safety net and youth policy experts as well as youth-serving practitioners. Though we focus on information relevant to young people, it may be useful to other age groups as well.