Harming poor kids: a look at Gov. Kitzhaber's proposed "reform" of TANF
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, better known as TANF, provides poor families with cash assistance for basic necessities while also offering parents job training to get them into the workforce. Even in the best of economic times, it is an essential safety net for thousands of Oregon families. Governor Kitzhaber is proposing what has been called "draconian" changes to the program that would limit eligibility, reduce an already meager cash payment and impose an 18-month lifetime limit in the midst of a recession marked by record long-term unemployment. While the governor's plan may cut TANF costs, it may also swell the ranks of homeless families and children in foster care.