BP6 – AFDC & TANF

Prompt: Explain AFDC & TANF.  Discuss the ideological and political changes surrounding the switch from AFDC to TANF. Describe the differences & similarities between the two programs.

Funded by the government, social welfare programs varies per state. Social welfare programs do not help families get out of poverty, but only designed to help families meet the most basic needs such as foods. AFDC stands for Aid to Families with Dependent Children which would later be changed to TANF, which stands for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. The purpose of AFDC was used for assisting families that did not have enough money to provide basic needs for their children.

Liberals and Conservatives had strong opinions about AFDC because of how it was being used by the peoples that were qualified for it. It just gave poor representation of the people that had AFDC because higher authorities saw it as people wanting to live off government assistance for the rest of their lives and not work to get jobs. Also, in terms of progress based on poverty level status, it does not work to improve this certain population.  TANF was then introduced and changes were made. These changes were states having more involvement by requiring each state to turn in a plan to Department of Health and Human Services. Another change was that the government helps the states by providing block grants under certain requirements such as the work participation rate, the four specific work requirements, and being able to spend the block grants on cash assistance, non-cash assistance, services, and administrative costs. The two programs differed because TANF allowed families to work, get an education, train for jobs, etc. while AFDC did not.

Karger, H. J., & Stoesz, D.  (2013). American social welfare policy: A pluralist approach (7th ed.).  New York: Allyn & Bacon.

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