Our Work

The Temporary Assistance For Needy Families Program

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and the related TANF Supplementary Grants program are up for reauthorization in FY10.  These programs give states and territories the resources they need to provide crucial services that make it possible for low income parents to find and keep employment, support their families and contribute to society.  Southern Governors encourage policies that help families achieve independence. 

The current TANF funding formula bases state allocations on past spending on TANF populations under the former Aid to Families with Dependent Children program.  Unfortunately, due to disproportionately high poverty in Southern states and the resulting scarcity of state resources, many Southern states’ welfare spending was historically lower than spending by states in other regions of the nation.  This has resulted in Southern states receiving disproportionately low Federal TANF resources.  However, because all states are held to the same federal participation requirements, Southern states that are under funded vis-à-vis their need are placed at an extreme disadvantage in achieving required outcomes. 

As we get closer to reauthorization of TANF, SGA will work to promote changes to the program’s funding distribution formula that will result in an equitable distribution of funds to all states and territories according to the proportion of poor children in relation to the number of poor children nationwide.  SGA also supports TANF Supplemental Grants for Southern states currently receiving those grants and the expansion of the Supplemental Grants program to other Southern states that currently receive lower than average TANF resources per poor child.

Read more about SGA’s activities on TANF: