Providing Mental Health Services to TANF Recipients: Program Design Choices and Implementation Challenges in Four States. Low-Income Families


Florida has taken full advantage of the flexibility to use TANF funds to serve families who may not be receiving cash assistance. For instance, TANF recipients and their children, former TANF recipients, households with a child-only TANF case, and non-TANF families that meet income and eligibility guidelines are eligible to receive TANF-funded mental health services. Non-TANF families include (1) a parent, caretaker, relative, or child in a family with an income less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level, (2) families receiving services in the Family Safety system (Florida's child welfare agency), (3) noncustodial parents where there is a court-ordered child support requirement and both custodial and non-custodial parents earn less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level and live in Florida, and (4) individuals receiving SSI or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Because many families move on and off of TANF, this "preventive" approach may reduce the number of families who receive cash assistance by helping parents stay employed. In addition, providing mental health services more broadly improves access to mental health services for sanctioned families, those who have reached their time limit, and families at-risk for TANF involvement.

View full report


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

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®