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This Government Program Helps Low-Income Single Moms

Single mom with TANF program

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program provides approximately $16.5 billion to states, the District of Columbia, and US territories (Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico) to help low-income families with children achieve economic self-sufficiency.

The federal government does not provide TANF cash assistance directly to the public. Instead, states use their TANF grants to fund monthly cash assistance payments to low-income families with children, as well as a wide range of services that are designed to address one or more of the program’s four broad purposes:
  • Provide assistance to needy families so that children can be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives
  • End the dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage&
  • Prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies
  • Encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families

For information on your state’s policies, find your state program.

For questions about the federal administration of TANF, visit www.acf.hhs.gov/ofa/programs/temporary-assistance-needy-families-tanf