Office of Family Assistance Data & Reports

The Office of Family Assistance collects and evaluates data from its grantees, including state and tribal TANF programs, and Healthy Marriage & Responsible Fatherhood programs. Please visit their Data & Reports webpage for data documents, reports, and other research.


Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation

Assessing the Evidence Base: Strategies That Support Employment for Low-Income Adults, August 2016

The Employment Strategies for Low-Income Adults Evidence Review identified, compiled, and reviewed studies of employment and training interventions for low-income adults. The review seeks to provide a transparent and systematic assessment of the research evidence for the effectiveness of programs designed to improve the employment-related outcomes of low-income adults.



Assisting Two-Parent Families through TANF, June 2016

Two-parent families’ lower TANF participation rates appear to result from differences in policies and practices. The dynamics of family relationships and personal feelings, especially of men, about seeking assistance may contribute to this difference as well. These families may also receive fewer support services than single-parent families because of either formal rationing of services or staff assumptions about their needs. This report documents these findings by analyzing administrative data, phone interviews, and site visits, highlighting key findings about:

  1. the characteristics of two-parent families participating in or eligible for TANF;
  2. the variety of services two parent families are receiving through TANF;
  3. how state policies help or hinder families participation in TANF; and
  4. how beliefs, attitudes and perceptions of state and eligible families help or hinder families’ participating in TANF.

This report presents findings from two components of the National Implementation Evaluation of the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG): the Descriptive Implementation Study and the Outcome Study. These two studies address the following two major research questions:

  1. How are health profession training programs being implemented across the grantee sites?
  2. What individual-level outputs and outcomes occur?
Overall, the two studies found that HPOG programs generally reached their target enrollment levels, and that the majority of participants completed their course(s) of study and found healthcare jobs. However, many of those first jobs after leaving the program were entry-level positions at relatively low-wages.

This collection of state-level analyses details promising occupations expected to experience growth through 2022 that someone can enter after completing a relatively short-term training. This product includes an introductory piece and ten appendices comprised of tables with state-level findings for each of the ACF Regions. The tables include information for the U.S. as a whole, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.


Resources for Connecting TANF Recipients and Other Low-Income Families to Good Jobs, December 2015

This guide features a collection of resources for TANF administrators and other practitioners on career exploration and assessment, career pathways and sector strategies, and labor market information. These resources may be helpful for those working with TANF recipients and low-income families in connecting their clients to jobs with wages that support self-sufficiency.


There are four types of resources included in the guide:

  • Research Studies
  • Technical Assistance Resources
  • Client Assessments
  • Data Sets Related To Education And Employment.

This annual publication, using information from the Welfare Rules Database, provides tables containing key Temporary Assistance for Needy Families policies for each state as of July 2014, as well as longitudinal tables describing various state policies for selected years between 1996 and 2014. The database is a comprehensive resource for comparing cash assistance programs across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, researching changes across time in cash assistance rules within a single state or determining the rules governing cash assistance in one state at a point in time. Additionally, the database provides in-depth information on a wide range of policy topics.


A Descriptive Study of County-Versus State-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program, May 2015

One-half of all families receiving cash assistance from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program live in states with “county-administered” TANF programs. But what does “county-administered” mean? To address this knowledge gap, this report closely examines the TANF programs in four states with state-supervised, county-administered systems (California, Colorado, Minnesota, and North Dakota) and provides detailed information on TANF administration in selected counties within these states. The report also identifies differences between county- and state-administered TANF programs and describes technical assistance needs of county-administered programs. 


Improving Engagement of TANF Families: Understanding Work Participation and Families with Reported Zero Hours of Participation in Program Activities, January 2015

This  report describes the programmatic factors within the current TANF environment that may influence the numbers of work-eligible individuals or families with reported zero hours of participation, and promising strategies that state and local TANF agencies are using to encourage client engagement.



Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): The Work Participation Standard and Engagement in Welfare-to-Work Activities, Congressional Research Service, February 2017

This report contains a broad sweeping summary and questions from the CRS’s perspective about what the components of TANF policy have and have not achieved. It discusses issues such as the pros and cons of moving away from Work Participation Rate (WPR) as a performance measure, and toward outcome measures related to employment; state flexibility; the caseload reduction credit and excess Maintenance of Effort (MOE); the increase in the child to poverty ratio even as caseloads have declined; the renewed focus that many urge on education, training and skill development, and others. Also of note, the report details how most research on successful welfare-to-work programs is now quite dated and argues that there is much to learn about effective interventions for those TANF participants that are typically the hardest to serve.


Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: Spending and Policy Options, Congressional Budget Office, January 2015

This report examines spending on TANF, how TANF compares to other low-income support programs, and the effects of TANF on employment. CBO also analyzes policy options that would change the program’s funding and requirements for states.


Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: Potential Options to Improve Performance and Oversight, U.S. Government Accountability Office, May 2013

To inform a potential reauthorization of TANF, GAO was asked to discuss its key findings on TANF performance and oversight from its previous work and identify potential options that would address these findings. This report discusses issues and options in three selected areas: (1) TANF's role in providing cash assistance to low-income families, (2) measurement of TANF work participation, and (3) information on states' use of TANF funds. In addition to summarizing its previous work on these issues, GAO reviewed relevant federal laws, regulations, and agency documents as well as transcripts from relevant congressional hearings from 2009 through 2012 to identify potential options. GAO also spoke with HHS officials and selected three TANF experts with a range of views to share their perspectives on these issues.


The Flexibility Myth: How Organizations Progiding MFIP Services are Faring Under New Federal Regulations, D. Indovino, A. Kodet, B. Olson, J. Streier, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, May 2008

This 2008 University of Minnesota study determined that "employment counselors in Minnesota found that they spent 53 percent of their TANF time --more than half-- on documentaion activities, rather than actually helping customers find and keep jobs."