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TANF at 25: Poverty Remains High Among the Nation’s Babies, But Few are Assisted

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This fact sheet takes a look at the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program in its 25th year and its role in the lives of babies in poverty.

Babies grow best in stable environments, but for families living in poverty, difficulties feeding, clothing, and maintaining housing for babies can undermine their development. Though assistance can help families bridge the gap, few families who could benefit from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program’s basic assistance actually receive it, and the persistent effects of racism and sexism in the program’s history continue to contribute to lower allocation of TANF funds to direct assistance in states with higher populations of Black and other families of color.

Sunday, August 22 is the 25th anniversary of the TANF program. To recognize this important moment and to dig into the impacts of our economic assistance policies, ZERO TO THREE has developed a fact sheet taking a look at TANF in its 25th year and its role in the lives of babies in poverty.

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