The purpose of Temporary assistance for Needy families is to give people a leg to stand on during transitional periods.  The ultimate goal of these programs should be to help transition into secure stable paying jobs so people are not in a cycle of state dependency. The Heartland institute recently released its 2015 report card scoring state welfare programs, which was updated from 2008.  The categories were based on policy, state policy rate, work participation rate, unemployment, teen birthrate, and the change in TANF program recipients.

When we examined this report in the office, we noticed the states that scored the highest all earned top scores in work participation rates. In fact, a common trend across the board showed states that at least received a passing grade scored passing marks in the work participation rate, often times in spite of other economic challenges. In addition, the bottom states all generally have low work requirement and poor service integrations.

This resonates with employees that I speak with on a regular basis to discuss regional TANF based workforce efforts across the country. I find a lot of TANF based organizations are still relying on spreadsheet reporting and paper for case management, which is behind the curve in today’s technology age. The states that saw improvement in their TANF programs all improved service integration, and improved stringent work requirements. Lastly, these programs also enforced their sanctions, which were policies in place to make sure requirements were met.  When TANF programs make workforce development a top priority, success is seen across the community and economy.

In addition to working closely with improving performance and outcomes through technology, the Launchpad team also has over 20 years of experience as workforce consultants. Let’s chat about improving workforce development in your TANF based programs today.


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