Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs provide time-limited assistance to needy families with children to promote work, responsibility and self-sufficiency.  TANF jurisdictions (States, Territories, the District of Columbia, and at their option federally- recognized Indian Tribes) receive a block grant to design and operate their TANF programs to accomplish the purposes of TANF.  These grants provide benefits and services to address the following: to assist needy families with children so that children can be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives; to end the dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work and marriage; to prevent and reduce out-of-wedlock pregnancies, and to encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.  All families with children who are experiencing homelessness are able to apply for TANF benefits.

View the program website

Learn how to access technical assistance for TANF agencies

It is TANF jurisdictions’ discretion to choose to partner with community-based public and non-profit organizations to assist needy families in gaining stability and work-readiness.  TANF jurisdictions have the flexibility to determine eligibility, benefits and services, and to develop their own strategies for achieving program goals.  Cash grants, work opportunities and other services such as assistance in finding and paying for temporary or transitional shelter arrangements, assistance in obtaining permanent housing, case management services, one-time emergency assistance payments and vouchers for food, clothing, and household expenses are provided directly to needy families experiencing homelessness.

Please contact your State or Tribal TANF Director or office to explore possibilities for partnership or collaboration.

Eligible Applicants:

States, territories, and certain Federally-recognized tribes who opt to run their own TANF programs and the District of Columbia administer their own TANF programs.

Funding Mechanism:

Each TANF jurisdiction receives block grant funding from HHS. Each jurisdiction administers its TANF program as it determines best to address the needs of its needy families.