The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program provides grant funds to states and territories to provide families with financial assistance and related support services. State-administered programs may include childcare assistance, job preparation, and work assistance.
The TANF program provides states (which includes DC and territories for this purpose) with flexibility in operating programs designed to help low-income families with children achieve economic self-sufficiency. The federal government does not provide TANF cash assistance directly to the public. Instead, states use their TANF grants to fund monthly cash assistance payments to low-income families with children, as well as a wide range of services that are designed to address one or more of the program’s four broad purposes: provide assistance to needy families so that children can be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives; end the dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage; prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies; encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.
The Office of Child Care supports low-income working families through child care financial assistance and promotes children's learning by improving the quality of early care and education and afterschool programs.
Head Start and Early Head Start programs provide free learning and development services to children ages birth to 5 from low-income families. Early Head Start and Head Start welcome children with disabilities.
The Children’s Bureau works with states, tribes, and communities to develop programs to assist America's children and their families and to collect information on child welfare for research and program improvement. The following are our focus areas for improving the overall health and well-being of our Nation’s children and families.
Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) is the federal government agency that oversees the national child support program. OCSE partners with federal, state, tribal and local governments and others to promote parental responsibility so that children receive support from both parents even when they live in separate households.
Health Resources & Services Administration's Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program gives pregnant women and families, particularly those considered at-risk, necessary resources and skills to raise children who are physically, socially, and emotionally healthy and ready to learn.
Families are aided in raising healthy, happy children when an array of supports and services is available in their community to assist them in meeting basic needs. Families with limited resources, or those facing additional challenges, may need specialized services to help ensure positive outcomes. In particular, many families struggle with securing safe, affordable housing across the country.