Providing Mental Health Services to TANF Recipients: Program Design Choices and Implementation Challenges in Four States. Data Collection


We collected data for this study primarily through two- to three-day site visits. In addition to collecting information on service delivery, types of services provided, and implementation challenges and lessons, we gathered information about the environment in which these services are provided, including the state welfare system (e.g., policies and administrative structure) and the mental health service delivery system for low-income families.

During each site visit, a two-person team conducted 60- to 90-minute semi-structured interviews with a wide range of welfare and mental health program staff, including staff from the welfare office, mental health treatment providers, and other key players involved in identifying and treating mental health conditions. In addition, we collected organizational materials (e.g., program descriptions, organization charts, service delivery pathways, etc.), screening and assessment tools, reporting and tracking forms, outcome and evaluation reports, and other types of materials at each site. We synthesized all of this information in in-depth descriptive program summaries for each state.


1.  For the purpose of this report, welfare office is used as a generic term to describe a place that serves welfare recipients, which, in some areas, may be a combined welfare/workforce development system.

2.  Appendix B is available at [All forms are in PDF format.]

3.  Psychiatric disorders included in the study: (1) major depression, (2) generalized anxiety disorder, (3) agoraphobia, and (4) panic attack.

4.  Ten of the programs were operating statewide. Programs varied in the extensiveness of the services they provide.

5.  For example, in Utah, St. George (Washington County) was selected because the program uses a Welfare-to-Work competitive grant to expand the capacity of existing mental health services.


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"TANF-MH01.pdf" (pdf, 763.2Kb)

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