How States Have Spent Federal and State Funds Under the TANF Block Grant

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

August 7, 2012


Some policymakers have cited the replacement of the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant under the 1996 welfare law as a model for how to dramatically restructure other federally funded programs for low-income families. A close examination of how states have used their federal and state funds under TANF, however, provides a cautionary tale about the dangers of converting basic safety-net programs to block grants.
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