Issue Brief 12-31
August 2, 2012

On July 12, 2012, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) provided guidance to states on applying for section 1115 waivers in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Specifically, the guidance (TANF-ACF-IM-2012-03) expressed the willingness of the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to use this waiver authority to allow states to test new ways of achieving better employment outcomes for needy families. The guidance provides examples of projects that states may want to consider. It also explains the required components of a waiver, including performance targets and an evaluation plan.

ACF released this guidance in response to the president’s February 28, 2011, memorandum that directed federal agencies to work with state and local governments to identify and overcome administrative, regulatory, and legislative barriers in federally funded programs as well as feedback from many states on the need for greater flexibility within TANF.