Sunday, April 17, 2011

CM Graham concerned about dramatic changes to TANF

Ward 1 CM Jim Graham, chair of the Committee on Human Services, recently asked Deborah Carroll, interim director of the Department of Human Services, about the proposed FY 2012 budget for the city's welfare program TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families).   The CM informed some advocates of this communication in the following email.   The first message is from the CM to advocates; the second from the CM to Carroll:
Friends,

I wanted to share this email that I have sent to DHS Interim Director Carroll. I am going to oppose the proposed reductions until I am assured there is a real plan to provide real support that is consistent with the needs and strengths of TANF families. I will need your support on this.

Bests, Jim


Director Carroll,

Please confirm whether the planned 20% reduction in TANF benefits for families in the program in excess of 60 months went into effect yesterday, April 1. If so, how many families as of April 1, are affected?

I know the DC Auditor is prepared to initiate their process

As you know, Mayor Gray has announced future reductions in FY 12 - FY 14 along with stricter sanctions. The program will be virtually eliminated by the end of FY14.

I am very concerned with TANF reductions given the absence of a comprehensive assessment tool and a robust, engaging employment readiness and job placement strategy. The Mayor indicated to me there is in place a much stronger relationship between DHS/IMA and DC Community College and DOES job placement programs. To date, I have not seen evidence of either. Please provide details of the partnership and # of referrals / TANF placements at both DOES and the Community College.

Also, please identify the most effective TEP program that is currently serving TANF beneficiaries. I want to visit the program and talk with participants.

Finally, I am very concerned with the delay in releasing the RFP for the enhanced TEP program. Please explain in detail the delay and where is the bottleneck that is delaying the release.

Bests, Councilmember Jim Graham

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