When I posted my summary of the Mayor’s proposals for TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), I wasn’t sure they included full family sanctions.
The language of the proposals left the door open for drastic benefits reductions, rather than total cutoffs. More importantly, the City Administrator assured DC Councilmembers–and all of us who were watching the budget hearing–that the proposals “in no way would…eliminate benefits for families.”
I’ve since learned that the Income Maintenance Administration, which administers TANF, does indeed intend to impose full family sanctions, though not before fall 2011. How many families might be affected remains to be determined.
With full family sanctions more than a year away, there’s time for the Council to take a careful look at who is being sanctioned and what actions have been taken to identify and resolve problems that may be hindering compliance.
This could–and I think should–be part of a broader examination of whether IMA has delivered on its promise to to improve “capacity building and services/supports that help move individuals beyond welfare capacity.”