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. The authors grouped these factors into three categories: TANF Policies and Procedures; Service Delivery and Performance Management; and Initial Activities and Ongoing Transitions. The authors also highlight a variety of state strategies for increasing engagement by improving policies and procedures, strengthening service delivery and performance management, and streamlining initial activities and ongoing transitions between activities. The report is based on interviews with TANF administrators in 30 states, site visits to 11 communities in 8 states, and document reviews.