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.

Play Video

5 Necessary TANF Reforms New Mexico Needs for Families

Meet the Mothers

Pregnant woman letting little boy touch her stomach

Micaela Baca

Mother and daughter both smile and stare at the camera

Georgette Cooke

Woman holding baby up to her face both are profile and smiling

Alyssa Davis

Woman looking down at the baby in her arms smiling, baby is smiling at camera

Cathyanna Apodaca

Mother with her two sons

Kathleen Hicks