Provides guidance and legal information on establishing and implementing state-funded programs to comply with federal work programs and improve welfare-to-work programs.

“This report provides practical guidance and legal information to state policymakers, human service agency staff, policy analysts, and others on the details of shaping and implementing [a state-funded] approach. The topics covered in greater detail include: (1) Why should a state consider a solely state-funded program? (2) How can states finance the solely state-funded program? (3) Which families are good candidates for the state program and what work or rehabilitative activities could a state provide for families? (4) What eligibility policies should a state consider in its program? (5) What are implications of solely state-funded programs on distribution of child support collected by a state? (6) How does receipt of assistance through a solely state-funded program impact eligibility for other programs such as Medicaid, food stamps, child care and any transitional benefits? (7) What administrative mechanisms should a state use to enroll families into a solely state-funded program?” (p. 3-4).

(Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Full publication title: Designing Solely State-Funded Programs: Implementation Guide for One “Win-Win” Solution for Families and States

Major Findings & Recommendations

“While there are many technical issues to consider in designing a solely state-funded program, the basic concept is simple — providing assistance to those families for whom the federal TANF requirements are inappropriate through a state-funded program can give states broader flexibility to serve those families more appropriately and can help the state meet its federal work participation rate” (p. 24). • A benefit of establishing a solely state-funded program: “because of changes to the caseload reduction credit, states now have to meet high effective work participation rates” (p. 4). • Two approaches are identified in which “solely state-funded programs can be financed without increasing overall state spending” (p. 5). • Target groups include: “those families for whom a state has concluded that the federal work participation requirements are inappropriate” (p. 9). • Options for state eligibility options and obligations are outlined based on where funding is coming from (p. 15-17). • Three options are outlined regarding child support collections and require “state agencies or policymakers designing or operating a solely state-funded program will need to understand the federal statutory requirements related to child support, recent HHS guidance on these issues, and the option that states implementing SSF’s have available to them” (p. 18). • Implications for “Interaction with Food Stamps, Medicaid, and Child Care,… families in a solely state-funded program will continue to qualify for other benefit programs such as food stamps, Medicaid, and child care on the same basis as families in a TANF-funded program” (p. 22). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)