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Fact Sheets

The DIVISION OF TRIBAL TANF MANAGEMENT is a central point for assisting in implementation and coordination of ongoing consultation with tribal governments and, where appropriate, state and federal agencies regarding issues relating to the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, P.L. 104-193 (the Act) and related legislation. It is also responsible for development of regulations and guidelines and for providing leadership, policy direction, technical assistance and coordination of tribal services programs. Performs inter and intra-agency liaison functions in all areas such as Child Support Enforcement, Child Care, Child Welfare, Foster Care, Low Income Home Energy Assistance, and Family Violence Prevention to promote family stability, economic security, responsibility and self- support for Native Americans. It is responsible for conducting program reviews to ensure compliance with the Act, regulations and policy directives. It is responsible for activities related to tribal data collection reporting requirements relating to the programs. Contact them at:

Tribal TANF 202-401-5020
Native Employment Works 202-401-5308
Fax 202-205-5887
Office of Family Assistance 370 L'Enfant Promenade, Fifth Floor East, Washington, DC 20447

Division of Tribal TANF Management

The Division of Tribal TANF Management is responsible for two programs:

Back to TopTribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)


In 1996 the 104th Congress amended the Social Security Act, by replacing Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), the Job Opportunity and Basic Skills Program (JOBS), and Emergency Assistance (EA) with block grants to States for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Included in the authorization for this new block grant system were provisions for block grants to eligible Tribes. Federally-recognized Indian Tribes and certain Alaska Native organizations are now provided the opportunity to administer their own TANF programs in a manner similar to the States.

The purpose of the new law is to support programs designed to provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives; reduce dependency on public benefits by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage; prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies; and encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families. Thus, the new legislation provides both challenges and opportunities to help needy families.

Legislative Authority

Tribal TANF is authorized by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, P.L. 104-193, as amended, and reauthorized by the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, P.L. 109-171

Summary of Activities

In FY 1997, the major tasks of the Division were to establish itself and to begin the process of implementing the new law; disseminate information to Tribes; develop guidance documents; and assist interested Tribes in planning, developing, and implementing TANF programs.

Starting in FY 1997, the first year in which tribes were eligible to administer TANF programs, ACF begin to receive, negotiate, and approve Tribal TANF plans.

In FY2006, 3 new plans, 2 major program expansions, 3 major plan amendments, several minor amendments, and 16 continuation plans were reviewed, negotiated as necessary, and approved. In addition, 10 new proposed plans were received and entered into the negotiation and approval process.

As of 9/31/06, there are currently 53 approved Tribal TANF programs serving 265 tribes and Alaska Native villages and the non-reservation Indian populations of 104 counties and the Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska.

Program Requirements and Eligibility

Tribes must submit a TANF plan to the appropriate ACF Regional Office and to the Division. The plan must be for a maximum of 3 years and may start on the first day of any month. Submission dates for plans are dependent on the proposed implementation date. The appropriate ACF Regional Office should be contacted for information. The plan will be reviewed and approved by the Regional Office and Central Office staff in the Division of Tribal TANF Management.

ACF has issued regulations, a Tribal TANF Guidance Document, several Program Instructions and Program Announcements and variety of technical assistance and informational documents to assist tribes in expanding their knowledge of the TANF program and developing TANF plans. Copies can be obtained from the appropriate Regional Office or the Division of Tribal TANF Management.

The regulations, guidance documents, etc., provide guidance to the tribes that acknowledges the unique conditions and needs of tribal communities and allows for tribes to develop and administer TANF programs for specifically identified populations, address the special economic, social, and cultural needs of these populations, and use TANF dollars to provide connections to employment, ensure necessary support services, and work toward accomplishing the purposes and goals of TANF.
Upon approval of the plan and proper notification to the State in which the Tribe is located, the appropriate amount will be withdrawn from the State's TANF Block Grant and allocated to the Tribe. The dollar amount of the Tribal TANF program funding an eligible tribe would receive is equal to the dollar amount of the Federal funds that the State spent for AFDC and related programs for the designated service population in Fiscal Year 1994. In addition, states may also, at their discretion, provide state MOE funds to the tribal grantee.

Eligibility is restricted by law to Federally-recognized Indian Tribes in the lower 48 states and to the designated 12 Alaska Native regional nonprofit associations and the Matlakatla Indian Community in Alaska.

Back to TopNative Employment Works Program (NEW)

Authority: The NEW program is authorized by section 412(a)(2) of the Social Security Act, as amended by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996.

Regulations: The federal regulations for the NEW program are found at 45 CFR Part 287. NEW programs also are subject to 45 CFR Part 92 and OMB Circulars A-87 and A-133.

Eligibility for funding: By law, only federally-recognized Indian tribes and Alaska Native organizations that operated a Tribal Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS) program in FY 1995 are eligible for NEW program funding.

Number of grantees: There currently are 78 NEW program grantees.

Funding: By law, NEW grant awards are set at FY 1994 Tribal JOBS funding levels. Annual NEW grant amounts range from $5,187 to $1,752,666. Total annual NEW funding is $7,633,287.

Purpose: The purpose of the NEW program is to make work activities available to grantees' designated service populations and service areas.

Allowable work activities include (but are not limited to):

  • Educational activities, including remedial, post-secondary, and alternative education;
  • Training and job readiness activities, including job skills training, job readiness training, on-the-job training, entrepreneurial training, and management training;
  • Employment activities, including job search, job development and placement, community work experience, community service programs, traditional subsistence activities, and subsidized and unsubsidized public and private sector work experience and employment.

Allowable supportive and job retention services include: transportation; child care; items such as uniforms, clothing, tools, and eyeglasses that are needed for employment or training; medical services; counseling; and other work and family sufficiency related services necessary to enable clients to participate in the program and necessary to assist clients in preparing for, obtaining, and/or retaining employment.

Allowable activities also include labor/job market assessments, job creation, and economic development leading to job creation.

Persons served: Each year, NEW programs serve more than 10,000 clients.

NEW replaced the Tribal JOBS program. Differences between NEW and Tribal JOBS include: NEW grantees have more flexibility in program design and operations; select their service area, service population, and equitable eligibility criteria; determine plan format, work activities, supportive services, and program outcomes; and are not required to serve welfare clients. NEW grantees must carry out their programs in accordance with their approved NEW plans and with applicable statutory and regulatory requirements. NEW programs work with other programs, helping grantees bridge service gaps and provide coordinated services to their clients.