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​Oregon Department of Human Services Response to the Oregon Secretary of State's Audit

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): High Expectations, Stronger Partnerships and Better Data Could Help More Parents Find Work

April 2014

The Oregon Secretary of State’s Office has completed an audit of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. The Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS), which administers TANF, received the audit report on April 15, 2014. Here you will find the agency’s response to the audit and helpful background information about the program.

DHS Audit  Response

This letter is the formal DHS response to the audit. It is included in the audit report from the Oregon Secretary of State.


TANF Caseloads

The TANF Caseloads chart shows caseloads at three points in time: In 2007, prior to the recession; In February 2013, when caseloads peaked; and, today.

TANF Case Manager Staffing

chart-casemanager.jpgThe TANF Case Manager Staffing chart shows the TANF caseload compared to the number of case managers. It displays how staffing dropped and remained low during the time period demand for services was at a record high.

Reductions in Employment Services

chart-employmentservices.jpgThe Reductions in Employment Service chart shows the change in the types of family shows the change in the types of family stability, job preparation and job search services over the past three biennia. The 2013-15 column describes the primary services funded today although during the past year local districts had very limited abilities to purchase additional services not on the list to meet local needs.


TANF: Cash Assistance and Family Stability and Employment Services

TANF federally funded, cash assistance and employment program. Its purpose is to help families with children living in extreme poverty pay for basic needs such as shelter, utilities and daily necessities. TANF also provides services to help clients find jobs and stay employed. It offers support services such as help paying for child care and transportation while clients participate in job preparation programs or search for employment. TANF offers a variety of other services such as help to apply for Supplemental Security Income or grants to escape domestic violence in an effort to help families stabilize their lives so they can find and sustain employment, and end their need for public assistance.

TANF Fast Facts

  • Current total caseload: 34,861 families (February 2014)
  • Total caseload is 73% higher than in July 2008, prior to recession
  • Between July 2013 and February 2014, 7,237 adults in TANF got jobs
  • Children are 66% of the total caseload
  • Half of the adults in TANF have at least one disability
  • 70% of families are headed by single mothers
  • Families must be extremely poor to qualify for TANF:
    • A single-parent family with two children must have a monthly income of less than $616 to qualify for up to the maximum cash grant of $506 per month.
    • A two-parent family with two children must have a monthly income of less than $795 to get up to the maximum cash grant of $621 per month.
  • Adults can be in TANF for up to 60 months over their lifetimes