Washington WorkFirst: Home page

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

In February 2006, President Bush signed the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA), which reauthorized the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant through 2010.  On June 28, 2006, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the interim final regulations regarding the TANF program. These regulations required Washington to make major changes to the WorkFirst program in order to meet strict new federal participation standards and avoid paying penalties. The TANF Program Final Rule became available February 5, 2008. For more information on the impacts of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA) and Washington’s WorkFirst program, visit DRA.

Washington State's TANF Plan

Federal law requires states to submit a plan describing each state's TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) program to the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The latest plan is available here and is available for public commentary until 5/15/16. Comments may be sent to Jerry Kosierowski at kosieje@dshs.wa.gov.

Current TANF State Plan The plan presented below was amended and submitted to HHS on February 26, 2014.

  • Cover Letter—From Kevin W. Quigley, Secretary of the state Department of Social and Health Services, submitting the amended Plan to HHS.
  • Body of the Plan — comprised of an Introduction and five sections: I. Benefits, II. Employment Services, III. Waivers, IV. Strengthening Families, and V. Administration.
  • Optional State Certifications- A certification by the Chief Executive Officer of the State, Governor Jay Inslee, specifying that the state will operate its TANF program in compliance with Title IV-A of the Social Security Act.  This certification will be signed by the Governor as part of the biennial review process and will be sent along with the TANF State Plan after the review process is complete.  The certification will remain in effect until the next biennial review.

TANF Caseload Reduction Reports

Washington must annually submit a Caseload Reduction Report to the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, which is used to determine the TANF work participation rates for each federal fiscal year.  In accordance with CFR Section 261.41(b)(6), these reports are made available for public review and comment period, usually in December of each year.  After the public review and comment period ends, these reports are removed from the WorkFirst TANF website and are no longer available for public review.  

Please send any written comments to:

    Jerry Kosierowski, Ph.D.
    WorkFirst Operations Administrator

    Department of Social and Health Services
    Economic Services Administration
    Community Services Division (CSD), MS: 45841
    PO Box 45440
    Olympia, WA 98504-5440

    kosieje@dshs.wa.gov