Work Participation and TANF/WIA Coordination Project, 2011-2014

Project Overview

This is a two-part project dealing with Work Participation and TANF/WIA Coordination. The Claims Resolution Act of 2010 extended the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program and contains a section on reports required from the states concerning the reporting of allowable work activities, and “Other” TANF expenditures. The Act further provides that the Secretary may provide any additional information that he or she determines appropriate with respect to the information required by this section of the Act, including information about individuals who have no hours of participation in work-related activities and the principal reasons for such non-participation. The purpose of the first portion of the project is to provide information about state TANF agency work activity reporting, especially with regard to TANF participants who do not participate in TANF work activities or are reported to have no hours of participation. In addition, the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), which created TANF, imposed time limits on receipt of cash assistance and broadened and strengthened mandates for clients to work or engage in work-related activities. These changes in particular increased the need for employment-related services for welfare recipients, applicants, and potential applicants. In 1998, the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) consolidated multiple employment-related public programs into a unified system through which comprehensive labor market information, job training, and job-finding assistance could be provided in "one-stop" service centers. Moreover, WIA mandated that in service areas in which funds are insufficient to serve all citizens, public assistance recipients and other low-income citizens have priority for services. Legislative intent was to have the two systems working together to improve the employment chances of low-income individuals. The second portion of the current project will look at exemplary programs involving cross-program coordination and the degree to which WIA program services are provided to TANF clients.

The point of contact is Girley Wright.

  • Serving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families(TANF) Recipients in a Post-Recession Environment

    Published: February 25, 2015

    Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) agencies are operating in a challenging post-recession environment with growing program demands and shrinking state and local budgets. The ways in which states are operating during this post-recession period has not been well-documented. This brief describes the changing demands on state TANF programs and how states have responded. It also describes opportunities for growth and improvement that TANF programs might consider. Findings are based....

  • Improving Engagement of TANF Families: Understanding Work Participation and Families with Reported Zero Hours of Participation in Program Activities

    Published: February 25, 2015

    This  report describes the programmatic factors within the current TANF environment that may influence the numbers of work-eligible individuals or families with reported zero hours of participation, and promising strategies that state and local TANF agencies are using to encourage client engagement. The study identifies nine factors gleaned from communication with TANF administrators and direct service staff that appear to affect the number of families reported to have zero hours...

  • Coordinating Employment Services Across the TANF and WIA Programs – Issue Brief

    Published: February 2, 2015

    The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Workforce Investment Act (WIA) programs provide employment and training services to a targeted population of low-income individuals. The similarities between the TANF and WIA programs have generated interest in the coordination and integration of services across the two programs since their inception in the late 1990s. Nonetheless, it remains unclear how and to what degree the programs are coordinating at the state and local level...

  • Coordinating Employment Services Across the TANF and WIA Programs

    Published: February 2, 2015

    The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Workforce Investment Act (WIA) programs provide employment and training services to a targeted population of low-income individuals. The similarities between the TANF and WIA programs have generated interest in the coordination and integration of services across the two programs since their inception in the late 1990s. Nonetheless, it remains unclear how and to what degree the programs are coordinating at the state and local level...

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