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Q & A: TANF Data Report (TDR) -- Section Three

TANF Reporting Questions

Published: June 27, 2012
Audience:
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Topics:
Data Collection and Reporting
Types:
Q&A
Tags:
TANF Program Policy Questions and Answers

TANF Data Report – Section Three

 

Q1: Data element #16 (Total Number of Births) and data element #17 (Total Number of Out-of-Wedlock Births): Is there a possibility of modifying these data elements? Can a State report the birth in the month that the client reports the birth?

A1: No. We do not intend to modify these data elements because they reflect a statutory requirement to rank States. States must report the number of births and the number of out-of-wedlock births for the month in which the birth occurs. It is not acceptable to report births for the month that the client reports the birth to the State.

Q2: Data element #16 (Total Number of births): Can a State estimate the number of births for the report month by counting the number of births in the month prior to the report month? (This will allow for delays in reporting of newborns by the family.)

A2: No. It is unacceptable to estimate the number of births for the report month by counting the number of births in the month prior to the report month. This method of estimating is inconsistent with the "complete and accurate" standard. However, it is acceptable to estimate the total number of births from a sample of families receiving assistance for the report month.

Q3: Data element #17 (Total Number of Out-of-Wedlock Births): What is the definition of an out-of-wedlock birth (conceived out-of-wedlock, born out-of-wedlock, or both)? Are States to determine the marital status at the time of birth? Is marriage to be defined as under State law?

A3: Each State collects data on out-of-wedlock births at the time of birth as part of its vital statistics health reporting system. Out-of-wedlock births are based on the mother’s marital status at the time of the birth. States are to collect and report the marital status of adult TANF recipients each month. This would include the marital status of the mother for the month of the birth. States may define marriage as under State law.