ERIC Number: ED467543
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Welfare Reform: Tribal TANF Allows Flexibility To Tailor Programs, but Conditions on Reservations Make It Difficult To Move Recipients into Jobs. Report to Congressional Requesters.
General Accounting Office, Washington, DC.
The 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act gave American Indian and Alaska Native tribes the option to administer Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs either alone or in a tribal consortium. The law also granted tribal TANF programs more flexibility in program design than it gave to state programs. This report to Congress discusses economic conditions on reservations and implementation of tribal TANF programs. Surveys and interviews were conducted with tribal, state, and federal officials. Despite tribal efforts to stimulate economic development, unemployment and poverty rates remain high on reservations. Prospects for economic growth may be limited because many reservations lack key factors such as a skilled workforce and access to markets. Nationally, the number of American Indian families receiving TANF declined in recent years, but in some states, American Indians represent a large share of state caseloads. Some reservations report increasing caseloads, due in part to lack of job training and child care and to strong family and community ties that impede relocation. To date, 174 tribes have TANF programs. Some tribes have used their flexibility to define a wide spectrum of work activities to accommodate recipients' training needs and cultural traditions. Most tribes devoted TANF funds to job training, work experience, and job search activities. Tribal program implementation and administration were hindered by inaccurate data on clients, lack of technological infrastructure, lack of experience in program administration, and lack of easy access to the strategies of other tribes. Appendices describe methodology and list tribal TANF programs and types of allowed work activities. (Contains 18 data tables and figures.) (SV)
Descriptors: American Indian Reservations, Economic Development, Federal Legislation, Federal Programs, Poverty, Program Design, Program Implementation, Reservation American Indians, Tribes, Welfare Recipients, Welfare Reform, Welfare Services
U.S. General Accounting Office P.O. Box 6015, Gaithersberg, MD 20884-6015. Tel: 202-512-6000. For full text: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d02768.pdf.
Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families