Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, also known as TANF, assists families with children when parents or other responsible relatives struggle to make ends meet to provide for the family’s basic needs. The program is a crucial safety net for 96,963 children and 37,332 adults in Pennsylvania.
There are several eligibility requirements
There must be a child younger than 18 in the household, or a child who is 18 and expected to graduate before turning 19.
Parents with dependent children who meet one of the following criteria are TANF-eligible:
Bank account | Savings account | Car
Families aren't getting rich from TANF
The average family on TANF is a family of three
The program is time-limited. With limited exceptions, families
TANF has work requirements
Many people who receive TANF must participate in a work activity for a minimum number of hours per week.
Hourly requirements vary based on:
Whether 1 or 2 parents live in the household
The age of the child(ren) in the household
Where TANF funding goes
Most TANF funds are spent on child care and supporting early learning programs so parents with low incomes can work, participate in job training, or complete an educational program.
The chart below shows the breakdown of funds.
County child welfare
Federal: $124 million
State: $6 million
|Child care, Head Start, and early learning|
Federal: $286 million
State: $409 million
Federal: $42 million
State: $53 million
TANF enrollment is dropping
A look at enrollment, per year, since 1990:
View/download a PDF version of TANF enrollment chart.
Infographic published February 2018
Learn more about the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.