TANF Priorities

TANF,  short for  Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, is a federal program that offers states flexibility in serving families of low-income.

The purpose of TANF is to reduce intergenerational dependency on public benefits by increasing self-sufficiency, education, and economic mobility of families with children. The four federal goals of TANF are to:

  1. Provide assistance to needy families with children so that they can live in their own homes or the homes of relatives;
  2. End dependence of needy parents on government benefits through work, job preparation, and marriage;
  3. Reduce out of wedlock pregnancies; and
  4. Encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.
The Tennessee Department of Human Services utilizes TANF funds to propel families through pathways to prosperity and ensure that the safety-net is not a landing place, but a launchpad for success.
Get to Know TN TANF Priorities Graphic
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Basic Assistance and Wraparound Supports

  • Housing 
  • Transportation
  • Cash Assistance, Transitional     Services, and Case     Management
  • Financial Literacy &     Counseling
  • Fatherhood & Parenting 
  • Technology Access
  • Mental, Physical & Behavioral     Health (Including     Substance- Abuse Treatment &     Recovery)
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  • Early Childhood Education     (Child Care, Head Start, Early     Head Start, Pre-K and     Home- Visiting)
  • Educational Supports &     Literacy
  • Mentoring, After school,     Summer & Other Youth     Programs
  • Post-secondary Access and     Supports for Youth and Adults


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  • Youth Employment Programs
  • Career Awareness Initiatives
  • Workforce Development, Job     Training and Other     Employment Services
  • Apprenticeships &     
         Pre Apprenticeships
  • Re-entry Services