TANF for children ages 0 -5

Change Indicator

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Why This Indicator Matters

TANF, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families is designed to provide a temporary safety net to poor families. In the past 20 years there have been sweeping changes on both the federal and state level to eligibility. As a result, TANF reaches fewer and fewer families with financial need.
This means that many families lack the income to meet their most basic needs for food & shelter.
It is true that in times that when the economy is good, fewer families will need this basic income support of TANF. Still. most of the reason for the declines in the use of TANF both in this state and nationally, are due to changes in eligibility, including time limits and work requirements.

What the data shows
From 2010 to 2017, the number and percent of children ages 0 -5 with TANF has declined from 9,895 to 2,843 or down 70%.   On a county level, in 2017, the use of TANF among Maine's youngest children varied between a high of 6.9% in Androscoggin County and 5.9% in Aroostook County to a low of 1.6% in Sagadahoc County and 1.4% in Hancock County.
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