Washington Area Women's Foundation

November 12th Forum Will Highlight the Voices of DC TANF Families

Some 16,000 DC families — including one in three children in the city — rely on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) for cash assistance, job readiness training, and support services.  A successful TANF program is critical to DC’s future. Yet too often, DC’s TANF families say they do not get the support they need to move from welfare to work.

A new report on DC’s TANF program by the DC Fiscal Policy Institute and SOME, Inc (So Others Might Eat) will be released at a forum on Thursday, November 12, from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m.  (Light refreshments will be available starting at 9:00.)

The new report, Voices for Change: Perspectives on Strengthening Welfare-to-Work from DC TANF Recipients, is based on focus groups with DC TANF families.  Attendees will learn directly from low-income families — most of them headed by women — about what they need to address barriers to becoming employed.  The report focuses on three areas:

  • The limited access to meaningful employment services for TANF recipients.
  • Problems in assessing and referring TANF parents to supportive services such as domestic violence and substance abuse.
  • The inadequacy of DC’s cash assistance benefits to enable families to meet even basic needs.

The forum will feature a video of DC TANF recipients discussing their experiences with the program and a Q&A with a panel including: 

  • Councilmember Tommy Wells (Ward 6), Chair of the Committee on Human Services
  • Clarence Carter, Director, DC Department of Human Services (invited)
  • A former TANF recipient
  • Peter Edelman, Georgetown Law School
  • Donna Pavetti, national welfare expert at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Please RSVP to Tina Marshall at marshall@cbpp.org or 202-408-1080.

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