Barriers to Accessing and Maintaining TANF

On October 6, 2023, speakers Niya Kelly (CCH), Maxica Williams (CCH), Suniya Farooqui (Heartland Alliance) and Kimberly Drew (Heartland Alliance) presented a three-year research project “Resigned to the Process: Barriers to Accessing and Maintaining TANF among Low-Income Families with Young Children in Illinois”.

Scroll to watch the webinar and view slides.

We can help change TANF in Illinois with your support!

Currently, in Illinois when a noncustodial parent pays child support the money is “recouped” by the state while a small fraction of that is provided to the family. This is a vestige of The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 where states were provided significant latitude in collection and retainment of child support for families who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), cash assistance.

Each year noncustodial parents are collectively paying amounts averaging between 30-50 million dollars in child support that the government keeps, providing the families with $2-3 million of those dollars collected, pennies on the dollar. On average for every dollar a noncustodial parent pays in child support only 14 cents is provided to their child while the state and the federal government shares the bulk of the money. These families are the poorest of the poor here in Illinois.

This executive summary is a 3 page version of the full report and is best for readability and sharing across networks who may not be as familiar with the depth of this work.

We can help change TANF in Illinois with your support!

Webinar: Watch Resigned to the Process 2022

You can watch the full webinar below, along with the slides used, to learn more about their research findings, suggested Policy changes, and how we can break down barriers to create meaningful opportunities for families.

Webinar Slides: Slides for Resigned to the Process 2022