Trauma-informed Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): A Randomized Controlled Trial with a Two-Generation Impact
Many TANF program recipients have been exposed to trauma in the form of violence and adversity in the family and community setting. TANF participants often have work-limiting health issues linked to expose to trauma, and those issues can provide physical barriers to employment by limiting work prospects and income. This research brief by Drexel University’s Center for Hunger-Free Communities outlines the Building Wealth and Health Network program that combines financial empowerment, trauma-informed peer support, and matched financial savings to support TANF participants and their families. The program recommends that public assistance programs incorporate trauma-informed approaches to public assistance and on-the-job training; investment in programs that support the caregivers’ physical, mental, and economic health to promote well-being of both the child and caregiver; and finally, focus on behavioral health services to support families, career readiness, and self-sufficiency before WorkFirst participation.
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