TANF stands for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
The TANF program, which is time limited, assists families with children when the parents or other responsible relatives cannot provide for the family's basic needs. The Federal government provides grants to States to run the TANF program. These State TANF programs are designed to accomplish four goals:
States have broad flexibility to carry out their programs. The States, not the Federal government, decide on the design of the program, the type and amount of assistance payments, the range of other services to be provided, and the rules for determining who is eligible for benefits.