Temporary Assistance To Needy Families (TANF)

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During the Great Depression, families struggled to make ends meet because jobs weren’t readily available. The government knew that in order for the market to revive itself, the population had to have enough money to care for basic needs. With that in mind, the government created a system that would give aid to families in need. The system is still in use today and is known as the Welfare system. First we need to understand exactly what is the welfare system.
The Welfare system that this paper focuses on is known as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). The Welfare system is often grouped with food stamps, housing aid, and other government assistance programs. Although these programs are forms of government aid, whenever people
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TANF exists to try and lift people out of poverty, and keep them above the poverty line. TANF is a temporary aid to families that expects the families to help themselves. Families can help themselves by looking for entry level jobs that have room for promotion or jobs that offer an income that can keep an individual out of poverty. According to Michael Tanner, a senior fellow at Cato Institute, “The focus should be on helping people prepare for and find jobs by providing job training, encouraging education, and discouraging pregnancy outside of marriage.” (pg. 605, CQ Researcher Fighting Urban Poverty) TANF is a handout that is given to needy families for a short period of time. TANF doesn’t push people to better themselves by finding jobs. The incentives for remaining unmarried and unemployed are greater than that of making a higher income and being taken off of TANF. A person on TANF will not pursue a higher paying job because of the risk of being ineligible to receive the benefits from the state. Others argue and say that the government requires that recipients find jobs. Although this is true, most of these jobs are just enough to meet requirements, and not jobs that can lift a family out of poverty. There are programs that exist that should be pushed by individual states that can help welfare recipients work their way out of …show more content…
TANF is a program used by a majority of single and widowed parents in poverty. These programs are in place to help the children that are affected by these situations. TANF is in place to help single parents provide adequate care for their children. Researchers for Child Trends writes that, “Studies find that those that experience persistent poverty as children are much more likely to be poor as adults then those who were not poor during childhood.” (pg. 907, CQ Researcher Child Poverty) This research shows that TANF is not doing enough to help children out of poverty. Although the goal is to get children out of poverty and help them stay out of poverty, the numbers have shown that poverty born children are not given the tools in order to achieve this goal. Consequently, these children will more than likely be using government aid their entire lives. Then their children will be born into poverty and the trend repeats itself. Some might say that TANF gives children the funds needed in order to grow themselves, and give them the opportunity to get out of poverty. Elizabeth Lower-Basch, the senior policy analyst for the Center for Law and Social Policy, makes the claim that, “No one gets out of poverty by receiving cash assistance” (CQ Researcher Child Poverty, 907) Children get out of poverty by working hard and earning everything they get. Whenever families are just given money it does not teach

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