Data on Health and Well-being of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Other Native Americans. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Tribal TANF

12/01/2006

Sponsor: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)/Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
Description: The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Tribal TANF database contains demographic characteristics for families receiving assistance under the TANF program. TANF case record information is reported to the national TANF database by states and territories on a quarterly basis. The database consists of active cases (families who were receiving assistance for the reporting month by the end of the sample month) and closed cases (families whose assistance was terminated for the reporting month, but received assistance in the prior month). States have the option of submitting all active and closed cases or a sample of these cases.

Since 1996, federally recognized American Indian Tribes and Alaska Native organizations have been allowed to operate their own TANF programs and serve tribal members who would otherwise be served by the state in which they live. As of Fiscal Year (FY) 2005 years end, 51 Tribal TANF plans were approved to operate on behalf of 237 tribes and Alaska Native villages. American Indian and Alaska Native families not served by Tribal TANF programs continue to be served by state TANF programs. The Tribal TANF database includes demographic characteristics of families receiving assistance under Tribal TANF.

Relevant Policy Issues: Income Status, Unemployment Rates, Economic Assistance Program Participation Rates, and Measures of Well-being for Families/Households.
Data Type(s): Program reporting data
Unit of Analysis: Analysis can be conducted at the individual level and family level.

For reporting purposes, the TANF family means a) all individuals receiving assistance as part of a family under the states TANF Program; and b) the following additional persons living in the household, if not included under a) above: 1) parent(s) or caretaker relative(s) of any minor child receiving assistance; 2) minor siblings of any child receiving assistance; and 3) any person whose income or resources would be counted in determining the familys eligibility for or amount of assistance.

For Tribal TANF, tribes administering their own TANF program have great flexibility in program design and implementation. They can define such elements of their programs as the service area; service population, including the definition of family; time limits; benefits and services; and work activities.

Identification of AI/AN/NA: The State TANF agencies or Tribal TANF grantees collect and report data for each person receiving TANF assistance. The instructions for reporting race/ethnicity on TANF recipients are as follows:

The intent of this data element is to capture the multiplicity of race and ethnicity characteristics applicable to each person. States/tribes should code at least one of the race categories YES in addition to coding ethnicity.

The provided race/ethnicity categories include:

Ethnicity:

  • Hispanic or Latino

Race:

  • American Indian or Alaska Native (AI/AN)
  • Asian
  • Black or African American
  • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander (NH/PI)
  • White
AI/AN/NA Population in Data Set: Researchers can receive a sample of the FY 2004 state TANF database for research. This database contains 205,119 records for active cases, and 58,453 records for closed cases. Breakdowns of the AI/AN/NA population are below:

Active Cases
AI/AN: 9,718
NH/PI: 1,711

Closed Cases
AI/AN: 3,001
NH/PI: 653

In 2002 there were 9,983 families receiving Tribal TANF assistance in total. The numbers for the 2004 database have not been released yet.

AI/AN/NA Subpopulations: Researchers can request analyses of Tribal TANF data by tribal affiliation. Because the numbers in the data set are very small, extreme limitations will be put on such requests.
Geographic Scope: The geographic scope of the state and Tribal TANF databases is national. In the state TANF database, analysis by state is possible. Also, in the state TANF database, the 3-digit county Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) code is provided. County-level analysis may be possible. Tribal TANF grantees do not report the FIPS code, but they do report the 3-digit tribal identification code instead. Tribal-level special tabulations may be available, but due to the small numbers in the data, extreme limitations will be put on requests.
Date or Frequency: Data is collected on a monthly basis and submitted quarterly to the national TANF databases. Research databases are compiled for an entire fiscal year. The most current fiscal year data available is FY 2004.
Data Collection Methodology: State and Tribal TANF agencies complete a TANF data collection form for all families receiving assistance under the TANF program.
Participation: Mandatory
Sampling Methodology: There is no single sampling method applied across the board for all states submitting data to the national TANF database. Twenty-nine states submitted records on all active and closed cases, while the remaining 24 states submitted sample data. If states do not meet the annual minimal sample size requirements, they must report data for all active and closed cases. No tribe has a caseload large enough to warrant sampling.
Authorization: The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 requires states, territories, and tribes to collect on a monthly basis and report to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services on a quarterly basis disaggregated case record information on families receiving assistance, families no longer receiving assistance, and families newly-approved for assistance from programs funded under TANF.
Strengths: Data sets contain a large number of AI/AN/NA respondents though Tribal TANF data are not currently available. Multiple years of TANF data are available.
Limitations: There is limited documentation available for researchers who wish to use the TANF public use database.
Access Requirements and Use Restrictions: Tribal TANF is still relatively new. Processes to provide researchers with direct access to the data files may be developed in the future. For the time being, the office is concerned about the confidentiality of the data, but is willing to run analyses for researchers. Also, it may be possible to request the data with tribal affiliation removed, although detail would be lost.
Contact Information: Researchers interested in receiving the sample FY 2004 state TANF public use database should contact:
Andrew Yoo
(202) 401-5098
AYoo@acf.hhs.gov

Researchers interested in working with Tribal TANF data should contact the Tribal TANF acting director Bob Shelbourne at (202) 401-5150; Raymond Apodaca, Tribal TANF Team Leader at (202) 401-5150; Ann Bowker, Native Employment Works (NEW) Program at (202) 401-5308; or Gerald Joireman, TANF Data at (202) 401-5097, email: gjoireman@acf.hhs.gov.

Reports of Interest: The 2004 TANF/TTANF Annual Report to Congress can be located at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/indexar.htm

 

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