Evaluating Human Service Programs
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a social program that seeks to enhance human behavior in a manner that will improve their quality of life. The program has four main goals. The first goal is to provide needy families with assistance to ensure that children are taken care of in the homes of their families or relatives (Administration for Children and Families (ACF), 2019). The second goal is helping needy parents to stop being dependent through the promotion of work and marriage. The third goal is to decrease the incidences of out-of-wedlock pregnancies. The fourth goal is promoting the formation and upkeep of families comprised of two families.
The program seeks to serve indigent families in the US. It replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program in 1997 under the 1996 legislation of welfare reform (ACF, 2019). The law was passed by Congress and signed into law by the president in 1996. It ended the entitlement to federal assistance. Instead, it created TANF as a block grant providing annual federal grants to States. After receiving the grants, states design which social services to offer to the needy families.
I choose the TANF program because the government spends millions of dollars on it. So, it is important to evaluate it and know whether it is effective. The program it replaced was considered ineffective by promoting dependency on federal assistance. So, evaluating this program would help determine its effectiveness, strengthen its quality, and improve the outcomes for the target population (Royse et al., 2016). Also, evaluating the effectiveness of the social program is relevant especially with the current debate on the persistent deficits and debt of the federal government.
Administration for Children and Families (ACF) (2019). About TANF. Retrieved from https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ofa/programs/tanf/about
Royse, D., Thyer, B. A., & Padgett, D. K. (2016). Program evaluation: An introduction to an evidence-based approach (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.