- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
States that include TANF in the Combined State Plan must outline how the State will meet the requirements of section 402 of the Social Security Act including how it will:
(OMB Control Number: 0970-0145)
a. Conduct a program designed to serve all political subdivisions in the State (not necessarily in a uniform manner) that provides assistance to needy families with (or expecting) children and provides parents with job preparation, work, and support services to enable them to leave the program, specifically cash assistance, and become self-sufficient (section 402(a)(1)(A)(i) of the Social Security Act)
This State plan was developed in accordance with Section 402 of the Social Security Act, as amended by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-193). This State plan is submitted as a new plan for the purposes of the state’s eligibility for federal funding under part A, Title IV, of the Social Security Act. The information submitted below restates the pertinent requirements of Section 402 and then provides the information that outlines the provisions of Indiana’s program.
Indiana Family and Social Services Administration
Indiana's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Plan is administered by the Indiana Family and Social Service Administration (FSSA). FSSA provides a broad array of services to the State including institutional and community-based programs for the elderly and disabled; mental health and addiction services, Medicaid and other health care services and programs, and direct services such as child care assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and cash assistance. FSSA administers the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant, which includes TANF cash assistance and other programs funded in whole or in part with TANF or maintenance of effort funds.
Within FSSA, the Division of Family Resources (DFR) has the responsibility for determining TANF eligibility, delivering benefits and employment services. DFR is also responsible for SNAP and enrollment in the Medicaid program. Traditionally, DFR provides TANF cash assistance and employment services at one of its ninety-two county offices or the office of a contracted employment service provider.
Under IC 12-14-1, Indiana defines a ‘qualifying family’ as means a family meeting the following conditions:
- The family consists of :
- A pregnant woman,
- Child under age 18 or
- A child between ages 18 and 24 attending secondary or post-secondary school at least half-time
- The children listed above must reside with a custodial parent or other adult caretaker relative
- The gross family income must be less than 400% FPL
Each TANF or MOE program must meet these minimum requirements but who is included in the household and how household income is calculated for eligibility purposes varies by each programs’ policies, laws and regulations.
STATE PLAN REQUIREMENTS
The following is a description of Indiana's plan for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program under Section 402 (a) of the Social Security Act, as amended by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-193).
Section 402 (a) (1) OUTLINE OF FAMILY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
(A) General Provisions
(i) Indiana will transfer a portion of the federal TANF Block Grant to supplement the Child Care Development Fund in addition to funding the following programs:
- TANF Child Care Assistance
- Early Intervention-First Steps
- Healthy Families (A child abuse prevention strategy)
- Father Engagement Programs
- Parent Education Program
- Parenting/Family Functioning Assessment
- Visitation Facilitation
- Tutoring / Literacy Classes
- Community Based Family Preservation Services
- Indiana Kids
- Teen Pregnancy Prevention
- Pregnancy Support Program
- Workforce Development Program Partnerships
- Family Housing Intervention
- TANF and IMPACT
Child Care Assistance
The child care needs for TANF recipients will be funded through use of both the Child Care Development and the TANF block grant. Assistance will be available to support the approved employment and training activities of the parent/caretaker who receives TANF assistance or who would receive TANF except for the imposition of a program sanction.
TANF funds also will be utilized for child care services for parents and relatives who are working and meet the income eligibility criteria of the Child Care Development Funds Program. Child care eligibility is capped at 127% of the federal poverty level.
TANF funds for child care will be blended with those of CCDF and accessed through the CCDF Voucher system. The funding source of child care services will be transparent to the families receiving child care subsidies.
Early Intervention/First Steps
First Steps is Indiana’s Part C Early Intervention Program for infants, toddlers and their families. It is a family centered, locally based, coordinated system that provides services to children (0-3rd birthday) who are developmentally vulnerable. Services are intended to prevent or minimize disabilities with the goal of maximizing the potential of these children so that they can function as contributing members of society. Families with income under 250% FPL are eligible for the program. This initiative is reasonably expected to achieve outcomes under TANF Purpose #1: Provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives.
Healthy Families Indiana
The Healthy Families Program is a voluntary, multifaceted home visitation program designed to promote healthy families and healthy children administered by the Indiana Department of Child Services. Healthy Families Indiana (HFI) provides screening and assessment of families throughout the state identified as at-risk of child abuse or neglect. If the screening and assessment finds physical or mental health issues, HFI provides a referral to WIC Programs, health clinics and local hospitals for services. Services are provided at no cost and include child development, access to health care, parent education, staff training and community coordination/education. The program model includes screening, assessment and home visiting. Services can begin for eligible families either prior to or at the time of birth and can continue until the child is five years of age. This program is open to all Hoosier families regardless of income but TANF state and federal funds will only be used for families with incomes below 250% of the federal poverty level. This initiative is reasonably expected to achieve outcomes under TANF Purpose #1: Provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives.
Father Engagement Programs
Father Engagement Programs provide assistance and support to fathers whose minor children are involved with the Department of Child Services (DCS). Providers work actively with DCS employees to engage fathers successfully in services that will improve safety, stability, well-being and permanency for their children. Providers will assist fathers in strengthening the relationship with their children and promoting positive relationships between the families and the local DCS family case managers and others involved in their children’s case.
The Father Engagement Programs support the purposes of TANF because the services aim to strengthen the relationship between fathers and their children and promote positive relationships. Job Placement and training services for non-custodial parent(s) initiative is reasonably expected to achieve outcomes under TANF Purpose #2: To provide services that promote job preparation, work and marriage. The remainder of services provided under this initiative are reasonably expected to achieve outcomes under TANF Purpose #4: Encouraging the formation and maintenance of two-parent families. Unless stated otherwise, Indiana defines for TANF that a ‘qualified family’ must have a gross family income below 400% FPL. Indiana Code (IC) 12-14-1(3)
Parent Education Program
Parent Education is the provision of structured, parenting skill development experiences. Education regarding parenting, discipline and child development is a means to provide parents whose children are “at risk” or have been abused or neglected with tools to assist them in the lifelong task of disciplining, understanding and loving their children. Family-centered parent training programs include family skills training and family activities to help children and parents take advantage of concrete social supports. A combination of individual and group parent training is the most effective approach when building skills that emphasize social connections and parents’ ability to access social supports. However, the individual approach is most effective when serving families in need of specific or tailored services.
The following evidence-based programs are approved for use in these Parent Education efforts: Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), STAR Parenting Program, Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP), Strengthening Families Program (SFP), Incredible Years, Parent Management Training-Oregon Model (PMTO), Positive Parenting Practices (Triple P), Parents as Teachers-Born to Learn, Safe-Care, Nurturing Program, Active Parenting, Effective Black Parenting by the Center for the Improvement of Child Caring, 1-2-3 Magic and Parenting with Love and Limits.
This initiative is reasonably expected to achieve outcomes under TANF Purpose #4: Encouraging the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.
Parenting/Family Functioning Assessment
Parenting/Family Functioning Assessment consists of an in-home evaluation that includes standardized test instrument(s) to identify the strengths and needs of the family. The service is most appropriately used when the needs of the family are so complex that a traditional assessment completed by an IN DCS Family Case Manager is not able to determine the services necessary to improve the family’s functioning. These families tend to have multiple caregiver ratings on the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) of 2 or higher which indicates complex needs.
The interviews/assessments required include: Parenting/family functioning assessment to include an interview with the adults and children being assessed in their current home environment and completion by adults of standardized test(s) to include a parenting inventory (such as Parent-Child Relationship Inventory; Adult Adolescent Parenting Inventory-2; Family Assessment Device, Version 3; Family Assessment Measure Version III (FAM-III); and/or the Child Abuse Potential Inventory and /or another Standard Risk Assessment Instrument.
This initiative is reasonably expected to achieve outcomes under TANF Purpose #3: Prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and TANF Purpose #4: Encouraging the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.
This service provides visitation between parents/children/siblings/and or others who have been separated. It allows the child to reconnect with their family in a safe environment. Supervised visitation allows DCS Case Workers to assess the relationship with the parent in strengthening their parenting skills and developing new skills.
The youth must be available and participate in the visitation. The parent(s) as well as other family members in the home must participate in the visitation as scheduled session along with the youth. The full participation of the parent is very important to the success of the service. Provider will document and report to the DCS Case Worker the date, times of the visitation, who attended, positive interactions between parent and child, any interventions used and parent’s response to that direction, any tasks given to the parent prior to next visit, any other pertinent information or concerns.
For two parent families, this initiative is reasonably expected to achieve outcomes under TANF Purpose #4: Encouraging the formation and maintenance of two-parent families. For single parent families, this initiative is reasonably expected to achieve outcomes under TANF Purpose #1: Provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives. Unless stated otherwise, Indiana defines for TANF that a ‘qualified family’ must have a gross family income below 400% FPL. Indiana Code (IC) 12-14-1(3)
Tutoring / Literacy Classes
Tutoring/Literacy Classes are provided to children involved with the Department of Child Services (DCS) system, in order to raise the academic performance of these school aged youth to a level consistent with state education standards. This program is carried out using qualified vendors under carefully drafted agreements. Services are provided in a manner that is age and developmentally appropriate and consistent with the child’s academic ability and learning style, interpersonal characteristics and special needs. Children are connected as appropriate with both formal and informal community supports, services and activities that promote their literacy skills. The child’s characteristics such as race, culture, ethnicity, language and personal history including child abuse and neglect are considered when choosing or designing program interventions, materials and curriculum. The provider will develop an education plan to address the child’s literacy and math needs.
This initiative is reasonably expected to achieve outcomes under TANF Purpose #3: Prevent and reduce the incidence of adolescent and out of wedlock pregnancies.
Community-Based Family Preservation Services
Family Preservation Services are services designed to work with families who have had a substantiated incident of abuse and/or neglect, but, where DCS believes the child(ren) can remain in the home with their caregiver(s) with the introduction of appropriate services to the family. “Caregiver” is broadly defined to include: Birth parent(s), Adoptive parent(s), Relative caregiver(s), Fictive kinship caregiver(s), Other caregiver(s) who has been providing care and housing to the child(ren) and who has been deemed to be appropriate by the Department of Child Services (DCS). These services are for the entire family.
Family Preservation Services include the assessment of child/parent/family resulting in an appropriate service/treatment plan that is based on the assessed need. Family Preservation Services are home-based and monitor and address any safety concerns for the child(ren). Any interventions are strength-based and family-driven with the family actively participating in identifying the focus of services.
This program is available for all children and their families in an Informal Adjustment (IA) or In-Home Child in Need of Services (CHINS) case with DCS, however, TANF state and federal funds will only be used for two-parent families or families below 250% of the federal poverty level. For two-parent families, this initiative is reasonably expected to achieve outcomes under TANF Purpose #4: Encouraging the formation and maintenance of two-parent families. For single-parent families with incomes below 250% of the federal poverty level, this initiative is reasonably expected to achieve outcomes under TANF Purpose #1: Provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives. (June 2020 start)
TANF funds will be used to fund the Indiana Kids program. Indiana Kids provides education and youth development services to TANF eligible children ages five through thirteen through the Indiana Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs. The program is designed to help children better their academic achievement and to provide an adult supervised structured environment thereby decreasing the opportunity for youth to engage in at-risk behavior, including pre-marital sex. This program also provides career guidance through field trips and/or career-related speakers or presentations. This initiative is reasonably expected to achieve outcomes under TANF Purpose #3: Prevent and reduce the incidence of adolescent and out of wedlock pregnancies.
Teen Pregnancy Prevention
FSSA has partnered with the Indiana State Department of Health in order to provide family planning services to those in need of services. This program is designed to reduce pregnancies among adolescent females through a comprehensive program which offers confidential birth control services, involves parents and equips young people to prevent sexual coercion. This program encourages participation of families, parents and/or legal guardians in decisions of minors to seek family planning services and pregnancy prevention through collaboration with multiple agencies including the Indiana Family Health Council, health care agencies and schools. This initiative is reasonably expected to achieve outcomes under TANF Purpose #3: Prevent and reduce the incidence of adolescent and out of wedlock pregnancies.
Pregnancy Support Program
FSSA has entered into an additional partnership with the State Department of Health and Real Alternatives, Inc. The comprehensive services offered include, but are not limited to, the following specific services: Information and counseling regarding pregnancy, fetal development, childbirth, child care, parenting, and adoption; Mentoring services related to parenting and life skills; Referral to other services available to support pregnant females and childbirth, including neonatal health care services; Promotion of public awareness of other resources that support childbirth; Programs to provide or assist expectant parents and their unborn children to obtain certain goods and services including, cribs and car seats, maternity and baby clothes, and temporary child care. Supports women in Indiana who thought they were experiencing an unplanned/crisis pregnancy, but who are found to be not pregnant by: Providing information on the risks of sexually transmitted diseases, relationship counseling, decision-making counseling, chastity information, teen pregnancy prevention programs, and other counseling to modify risk-taking behavior;
This program is intended to serve TANF purposes 3 and 4 through encouraging the formation and maintenance of two-parent families while providing pregnancy support services to expectant parents as well as preventing and reducing the incidence of adolescent and out of wedlock pregnancies.
Workforce Development Program Partnerships
Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG)- Indiana is a multi-year program that targets high school juniors and seniors who are at risk of dropping out of high school due to significant barriers. JAG Indiana students have an average of 7.3 barriers that include single parent homes, unemployed parents, disabilities, homelessness and parenting teens. The program’s overarching goals are as follows:
- Provide a basic skills assessment and remediation to ensure program participants receive a high school diploma or its equivalent;
- Assist in the attainment of employability skills needed to find a job and persist in the job and/or pursue postsecondary education. Students are taught 37 core competencies with the possibility of 85 total competencies to assure a strong attachment to the labor market; and
- Help to ensure graduates remain employed full-time after graduation or transition to post-secondary education or training.
Indiana’s JAG model provides tutoring assistance and adult mentoring. Participants receive individualized attention and identification of specific barriers to success, which may include low academic achievement, life skills, personal skills, and social or economic barriers. Students receive one full year of follow-up services after graduation as they transition into the workforce or post-secondary education. The follow-up services are designed to ensure success in their post-secondary endeavors. This initiative is reasonably expected to achieve outcomes under TANF Purposes #2 and #3: To provide services that promote job preparation, work and marriage and to prevent and reduce the incidence of adolescent and out of wedlock pregnancies. Unless stated otherwise, Indiana defines for TANF that a ‘qualified family’ must have a gross family income below 400% FPL. Indiana Code (IC) 12-14-1(3)
Family Housing Intervention
Crisis Assistance - Families facing a crisis situation may receive funding which prevents a disconnection or reactivates service. Crisis assistance may also be provided when a past energy debt prevents the family from receiving current utility service.
Deposit Assistance - Families needing assistance with a deposit payment to begin utility service.
Utility Bill Assistance - provide a maximum of two months of assistance with (estimated/budgeted) primary monthly heating or cooling utility bills. All payments are provided directly to the utility company. The family household must have a utility account and have the utilities listed in the name of a household resident /family listed on the application for program services. If, for some reason, the utilities are in a different name (such as a landlord), a detailed explanation and documentation will be required which shows that the family pays/is responsible for utility payments.
This initiative is reasonably expected to achieve outcomes under TANF Purpose #1: Provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives. Unless stated otherwise, Indiana defines for TANF that a ‘qualified family’ must have a gross family income below 400% FPL. Indiana Code (IC) 12-14-1(3)
Indiana uses the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant to provide cash assistance and Indiana Manpower Placement and Comprehensive Training (IMPACT) Employment, Training, and Support Services to eligible TANF families. As a way for Indiana to maximize its resources in the talent development space and reduce duplicated efforts, IMPACT will coordinate more closely with WorkOnes regarding funding training and education. Since November 1, 2007, cash assistance applicants deemed mandatory for IMPACT have been referred to IMPACT for employment and training services. Due to COVID-19 public health emergency declared by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb (Executive Order 20-02) on March 6, 2020, Indiana has waived the mandatory work requirements for all TANF applicants/recipients from the date of this order through June 30, 2020. We will continue to offer employment and training services to those who wish to volunteer for services. The expectation is that all mandatory requirements for work will be back in place as of July 1, 2020. If this does not occur due to an extension of the public health emergency, another plan amendment will be submitted.
TANF Cash Assistance: Financial eligibility for cash assistance includes both an income and resource test. The family must qualify using applicable income and resource standards. The income standard for initial eligibility is listed below:
Assistance Groups which Include Adults and Children
|# of Members||Monthly Amount|
Assistance Groups which Include only Children
|# of Members||Monthly Amount|
The family remains eligible until its countable income exceeds 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. This extension of income eligibility allows for continued access to employment services. In determining eligibility, the following disregards are applied to gross earned income:
- $90 – Work Expense disregard
- $30 and 1/3 Disregard – In addition to the work expense disregard, a work incentive disregard of $30 and 1/3 is applied to the remaining earned income for four consecutive months.
- $30 Disregard – Upon expiration of the $30 and 1/3 disregard, an applicant/recipient is entitled to a deduction of $30 from the earned income remaining after the standard work expense disregard is subtracted their eight (8) month period) and begins the month following the month the $30 and 1/3 disregard expired.
In determining the benefit amount, 25% of gross earnings and 100% of non-exempt unearned income is used in the benefit calculation, thus 75% of earned income is disregarded in the benefit calculation.
Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the following policy changes have been made in order to ensure that TANF benefits can continue without interruption:
- HHS/Administration for Children and Families issued a policy statement on April 11, 2020, concerning stimulus payments and pandemic unemployment payments. Stimulus payments are exempt as income for TANF. States have an option on how to consider the additional pandemic unemployment assistance. Federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which provides an additional $600 per week to individuals who are collecting regular state or Federal UC, through weeks of unemployment ending on or before July 31, 2020. Indiana will consider the emergency unemployment compensation noted above as exempt from consideration as income for TANF.
- Extending the certification periods and waiving the interview at recertification. This policy will remain in effect for recertifications being completed up through June 30, 2020.
The resource standard for initial eligibility is $1,000. Once determined eligible, the case is subject to a resource standard of $1,500.
Indiana Manpower Placement and Comprehensive Training (IMPACT) Employment, Training and Support Services: IMPACT's combined approach of employment with education and training programs will best prepare an individual for career advancement and wage increases. Indiana will support and expand the development of training programs integrated into or delivered in tandem with a Hoosier’s employment experience. Individuals eligible for cash assistance will be given comprehensive personal and family strength and needs assessments, individualized service coordinated plans based upon the assessments, and referrals to appropriate service providers to overcome initial and on-going employment barriers. A key element of the education and training programs for low-income individuals will be work-based learning opportunities (e.g., on-the-job training, paid internships, pre-apprenticeships, and State Earn and Learns), allowing these individuals to both earn an income and advance their technical knowledge. Career pathways for low-income individuals must include short-term credentials of value that will stack towards postsecondary credentials and degrees along a career pathway, options for on-the-job training, and flexible participation options (part-time, extended hours, and online modules).
Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the following policy changes have been made and will be in effect through June 2020:
- For applicants, removing the upfront applicant job search requirements
- For those receiving TANF, removing the work requirement and full family sanction.
Please note that our employment and training staff with the IMPACT program will be reaching out to clients via phone in order to offer services. Participation in the call and offer of services is strictly voluntary with no risk to TANF benefits.
For descriptions of the work activities that IMPACT will use, please refer to Indiana’s Work Verification Plan. Under the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, States are required to submit a Work Verification Plan explaining how it will verify the participation hours for the various work activities TANF recipients have been assigned to.
Case management and service coordination will focus on job placement, complemented by supplemental education, training, and skills development. Referrals to the Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services and the Department of Workforce Development will be emphasized for those seeking talent development programming. Case management, education and training, and supportive services are provided to the client at no cost. The following is a list of the supportive services available to an IMPACT participant under the TANF Program:
|Type of service||Payment Limits||Time limits|
|Clothing||$300||Per 12 month period|
|Transportation Expense||$200/month||TANF-Personal vehicle at $.15 per mile, other at actual cost; FS- $.10 per mile or $2.00 per day whichever is higher.|
|Vehicle Repair and Maintenance||$750||Per 12 month period.|
Transportation expenses and vehicle maintenance may continue during IMPACT participant’s employment for 90 days following the loss of TANF benefits. Through co-enrollment in WIOA Core Programs, however, an individual may continue to receive follow-up services for up to 12 months.
Domestic violence and substance abuse are factors that can impede any family’s ability to become self-sufficient. The prevalence of these factors may be prevalent among low-income families. These issues can extremely difficult to identify and, although current policies permit exceptions and extensions to the state TANF time limit, when a domestic violence situation prevents an individual from participating in employment or training, very few individuals seek these opportunities. Due to the complexity of these issues, Indiana’s Family and Social Services Agency has worked to raise both staffs’ and individuals’ awareness of the exemption and extension options.