TANF stands for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families


  • To provide assistance (or other forms of support) to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives;
  • To end dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work and marriage;
  • To prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies; and
  • To encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.


An eligible family or assistance unit is one that includes at least one child or pregnant woman, enrolled or pending enrollment with a Federally-recognized Indian Tribe or Alaska Native Village. A family assistance unit is defined as:

  • a pregnant woman, or
  • one or two parents and child(ren), or
  • a relative caregiver or non-relative caregiver and child(ren) with acceptable court documents

Family assistance units may not include more than two adult members, unless another family member 18 years of age is a child attending school.

Work Participation:

Parents are required to participate in work activities to meet their individual participation requirements as follows:

  • Single Parents: Single parents must participate a minimum of 25 hours per week in a work activity as defined in the Tribe’s TANF Plan.
  • Two-Parent Families: Unless the family can not find appropriate child care or one adult is disabled or caring for a disabled family member, both parents must participate a minimum of 40 hours per week combined. If one parent is exempted from work participation, for any reason, the other adult is responsible for participating a minimum of 25 hours per week