Many parents receiving assistance from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) face serious barriers to employment. Sometimes called the “hard to employ,” these parents typically require enhanced assistance to prepare for, find, and keep jobs. Health issues and disability, substance abuse, criminal records, domestic violence, limited education, and responsibilities for disabled children or parents all stand in the way. Federal TANF rules influence state policies toward the hard to employ. Yet states vary considerably in approaches to serving this population.