NM should make it easier for families with children to get the help they need.
Children are the future of New Mexico, but unnecessary and punitive rules in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program stop low-income families with children from getting the help they need.
TANF gives parents and children much needed emergency support to help stabilize and improve their futures. Despite flexibility in the law, New Mexico implements one of the most punitive TANF programs in the country.
Studies show increasing income, especially in early childhood, has long-term, dramatic increases in children’s economic opportunity and educational attainment. Yet, only 40% of families eligible for TANF are able to get it because parents are unable to comply with the draconian rules that are almost impossible to follow.
These are the stories of five women and their children who needed help from New Mexico and didn’t get it.