In 2006, the Lewin Group and its subcontractor, the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, assessed and reported on recent adaptations made by local offices in managing Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs. This assessment sought to provide a clear picture of recent changes implemented by local program managers to improve performance, several years after the initial wave of change brought about by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA). Under contract to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF) the study team visited local sites in five states, interviewing staff and management in TANF and other local offices that provide services for TANF clients. The results of the field work and analyses were published in January 2007.
As field work for this study was progressing, TANF was reauthorized under the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) of 2005. The legislation and related regulations included several provisions that strengthened the program’s work participation requirements.