HHS – Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) (2014)


The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program is designed to help needy families achieve self-sufficiency. States receive block grants to design and operate programs that accomplish one of the purposes of the TANF program.

The four purposes of the TANF program are to:

  • Provide assistance to needy families so that children can be cared for in their own homes
  • Reduce the dependency of needy parents by promoting job preparation, work and marriage
  • Prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies
  • Encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families

Funding Title: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

Agency Name: Department of Health and Human Services

Funding Instrument Type: Grant

Express Language for Legal Aid: No, but legal aid organizations have been funded in the past.

Target Population:  Needy families

Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: No

How to Apply: TANF is distributed to states, which then make grants to local organizations. To find your state administering agency, contact

Deborah List

Administration for Children and Families

Office of Family Assistance

370 L’Enfant Promenade SW.

Washington, DC 20447

Phone: (202) 401-5488

Email: deborah.list@acf.hhs.gov

Award Ceiling: Every state receives TANF funds, and each state exercises wide discretion when determining how much and to which programs it awards funds.

Eligible Applicants:    State governmentsEvery state is eligible for funds and is already receiving funds. States determine the eligibility of programs within that state..

Policy and Regulations on Use of Funds: See http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/programs/tanf/laws-regulations

Link to Full Information: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/programs/tanf

Contact Information:

Deborah List Phone: (202) 401-5488 Email: deborah.list@acf.hhs.gov

Categories: Department of Health and Human Services, Family, Government Organizations, Pass-Through Funds/ Block Grants

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