On Friday, July 24, CWLA submitted comments to the House Ways and Means subcommittee on Human Resources regarding the TANF reauthorization draft.

The Subcommittee released a draft reauthorization bill for comment before a hearing held earlier this month. The CWLA comments focused mainly on the proposed changes the draft is advancing. The emphasis of the comments were on seeing TANF not just as a source of funding for child welfare services but as an important program as a safety net.

In part the letter said:

“While the link between child welfare and welfare assistance is clear in financial terms we also recognize that the TANF block grant is vital in another significant way that is sometimes overlooked. TANF is significant in its role to assist some of the most vulnerable families in our country, especially those families in poverty and deep poverty. This is important if we are to make continued progress in reducing child maltreatment and in increasing permanency for the more than 600,000 children who experience out of home placements during the year.”

The letter then outlined a number of areas in the draft bill. The draft legislation realigns work requirements on how states calculate whether they are meeting work participation by adults but it also gives states more flexibility in some instances in how they craft their work and training programs for adults on assistance. There is a bipartisan consensus that states haven’t done enough to aggressively move people into jobs through better training and job placement activities.