The general flow of services for an individual applying for cash assistance has changed under TANF. Prior to TANF, the typical sequence of activities at the welfare office was: eligibility screening, intake for cash assistance benefits, followed by an orientation on work-related program rules and services for those required to participate in work activities. Under TANF, the service sequence more often includes orientation for all clients, whether required to work or not. An individual applying for TANF now is generally provided with information materials and participates in an individual or group orientation, which typically provides an overview of the program, including eligibility requirements, the time-limited nature of TANF, the requirement to participate in work or work-related activities, and the circumstances under which someone might be exempt, at least temporarily, from work participation requirements.(3) Those not exempt must follow state/local rules regarding participation in order to receive TANF benefits.
A variety of activities and services are available to those who must meet TANF participation requirements (see Exhibit 1). As an individual moves from welfare intake into work, s/he may participate in the following activities and services: intake and eligibility determination; assessment; pre-employment or work preparation services (e.g., job readiness training, family life skills, general equivalency diploma (GED) or adult basic education (ABE) classes, basic skills training, job specific skills training); job development/placement services (e.g., job search/job club/job placement, labor market information); work experience; and post-employment services (e.g., retention services, advancement services). Under TANF, however, clients are more likely to engage in short-term pre-employment activities and job search than in skills training and education. In addition, case management services are provided to the client as s/he moves through these services.
| Pre-employment Services
| Employment Services
| Post-Employment Services