fare them well

tracking what’s changing for welfare, women and children

To catch a welfare thief, start with the state

In a Nov. 23 article by The Advocate out of Baton Rouge, LA, the numbers are clear, but the destination is not.

Millions of dollars are given away each year in public assistance programs such as TANF, but many government officials don’t know where they end up.

According to the article, during the past fiscal year, Louisiana spent more than $42 million in two TANF-funded cash assistance programs it administers — the Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program and the Kinship Care Subsidy Program.

But the federal law that created TANF in 1996 requires state agencies to confirm “the state has established and is enforcing standards and procedures to ensure against program fraud and abuse,” the article said.

But policy experts say the broad definition of welfare fraud makes it hard to catch.

  • Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst for the Center for Law and Social Policy, said in an e-mail that she does not know of any state that puts specific limits on how TANF cash assistance may be spent, so there is technically no such thing as “misuse of funds.”
  • Kenneth Wolfe, spokesman for the national Administration for Children and Families said the federal government ultimately oversees the funding of cash assistance programs, but it is the state and local agencies that are the direct administrators.
  • “No state in the nation monitors what is purchased with the monthly benefits,” Louisiana Department of Social Services spokeswoman Cleo Allen said.
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November 26, 2007 Posted by | Busted, Critiques & Critics, Legally Speaking | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Report: How does Your State Spend TANF Funds?

The Center for Law and Social Policy has released a preliminary report on how states have spent their TANF allowances as of October 2007. See how your state stacks up. Browse comprehensive PDF and Excel files on how 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the entire country spent funds to help families in need.

To give you a sneak peak at the numbers, as a whole, the federal government and the country had more than $16 billion to spend in TANF and Maintenance of Effort federal funds for the 2006 fiscal year. So why did they have more than $4 billion left over that same year? Click below to find out where federal aid is spent most.

Analysis of Fiscal Year 2006 TANF and MOE Spending

October 15, 2007 Posted by | Money Matters, Related Reports, Research | , , | Leave a comment

CLASP: Center for Law and Social Policy

http://childcareandearlyed.clasp.org/

October 15, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll | , , | Leave a comment