The Current State of TANF

March 2022

This policy memo is addressed to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and details the issues surrounding the current state of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Its legislative history is discussed in-depth with its problem-symptoms, focusing on TANF’s ineffectiveness in aiding families, and consequences that are borne by its recipients. The causes, which include factors of government failure and ineffectual policies, are analyzed with data and historical evaluation. To resolve these problems, five policy alternatives are proposed with consideration of their benefits and tradeoffs. All presented policy solutions meet the HHS’ mission and goals, and a final recommendation is made supported with evidence.