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Mon Dec 26, 2016, 02:18 AM

State program for needy fails clients, advocates say

SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, also called TANF, should be doing more to help families find a way out of poverty, according to “Turning Assistance Into Opportunity,” a just-released KIDS COUNT report from New Mexico Voices for Children.

The TANF program provides financial assistance to eligible families with children for basic necessities. That cash assistance is tied to work or work-related activity requirements, the source of much of the criticism.

“New Mexico has not spent one dime of TANF funding on education and training programs over the last several years,” said Sharon Kayne, spokeswoman for New Mexico Voices for Children, a nonpartisan organization that advocates on behalf of children and families.

A spokesman for the state Human Services Department, which administers the TANF program, neither agreed nor disagreed with the assessment of the report, saying only that the department’s hands were tied and a lot of changes sought by the group need to go through the Legislature.

Read more: https://www.abqjournal.com/915276/advocates-program-inadequate-for-clients.html

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