Children on TANF in Washington State

Sep 2010 |
Online Library
The Well-Being of Children and Caregivers

As part of the 2010 re-examination of the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, the Research and Data Analysis Division analyzed risks and outcomes over a five-year period for children on TANF in state fiscal year 2007, as well as for their birth parents and other caregivers. We explored patterns of medical and behavioral health risk, social service utilization, employment and earnings, incarcerations, homelessness, and Child Protective Services (CPS) involvement. Analyses were performed separately for five types of child-only TANF cases—kinship care, legal guardian, disabled parent, undocumented parent, and disqualified parent—as well as children on TANF whose parents were also enrolled in the program. Children were more likely to be living with non-parental caregivers in kinship or legal guardianship arrangements if a birth parent had a substance abuse problem, had been homeless or incarcerated, or if the child or a birth parent had been part of a CPS investigation. Children tended to experience higher rates of mental illness and substance abuse if they had been part of a CPS investigation, had a parent or caregiver with a behavioral health problem, or had a parent or caregiver who had been incarcerated.

Report and/or Additional Information: