NCLEJ Reflects on TANF’s 20th Anniversary

It has been 20 years this month since the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, which established the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, was enacted. Marking this anniversary, NCLEJ Executive Director Marc Cohan and Deputy Director Gina Mannix contributed to a compilation of short articles, along with 13 other experts, in Clearinghouse Community, an online publication of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law.

Their reflections, “Room for Advocacy in Promoting Economic Justice,” address how TANF has failed to protect families living in poverty. Child poverty has increased and there is evidence of enduring racial bias in both TANF policies and administration. Marc and Gina also point to NCLEJ’s post-TANF advocacy and litigation to combat these negative consequences. NCLEJ’s advocacy has helped to ensure greater fairness in the way that public assistance and related work supports are administered, protect TANF access for people with disabilities, protect the rights of low-wage workers, and ensure access to food stamps for hundreds of thousands.

Read Marc and Gina’s reflections here and the full compilation here.

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