TANF-ACF-PI-1998-04 (State Child Poverty Rates)

Publication Date: May 29, 1998


State agencies administering the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and other interested parties.


State Child Poverty Rates.


Sections 413(i) of the Social Security Act (42 USC 613(i) as enacted by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) and amended by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.


One of the concerns of Congress in passing PRWORA was potential harm to children that might result from the loss of Federal entitlement to benefits or the unsuccessful efforts of their caretaker to achieve self-sufficiency within the specified time limit.

To address this concern, Congress added a new section 413(i).  This section calls for the Chief Executive Officer of each State (including the Territories) to submit an annual statement of the child poverty rate in the State.  The first statement is due May 31, 1998.  Section 413(i) also requires that a State submit a corrective action plan if there is an increase in the rate that exceeds a certain threshold as a result of the State's TANF program.


The purpose of this Program Instruction is to inform States that, as a first step in developing a State child poverty rate, we will provide to the States the number and percentage of children in poverty in each State based on Census Bureau estimates.  (A slightly different process will apply to the Territories).  We will forward these child poverty estimates to each State in the near future.  A State need not submit a statement of its child poverty rate to us at this time.

Further guidance and proposals for public comment will be contained in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to be published later this summer.  The NPRM will propose a sequential methodology for how a State's child poverty rate will be developed and how the requirement for a corrective action plan will be implemented.

Action Required:

No action regarding State child poverty data is required from States and Territories at this time.

Effective Date:



Inquiries should be directed to the appropriate ACF Regional Administrator.


Howard Rolston
Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation

Last Reviewed Date: