FY 2019 Annual Performance Plan and Report - Goal 3 Objective 1

Fiscal Year 2019
Released  April 2018

Goal 3. Objective 1: Encourage self-sufficiency and personal responsibility, and eliminate barriers to economic opportunity

Strong, economically stable individuals, families, and communities are integral components of a strong America.  Many Americans currently experience or are at risk for economic and social instability.  The social and health impacts of poverty can include reduced access to nutritious food; fewer educational opportunities and poor educational outcomes; a lack of access to safe and stable housing; increased risk of poor health outcomes including obesity and heart disease; and difficulty obtaining work opportunities.

In 2016, a family of three was considered to be living in poverty if they earn less than $19,105 per year. According to the Census Bureau, the poverty rate in 2016 was 12.7 percent, with 40.6 million people living in poverty; this number was down 0.8 percentage points from 2015.  For most demographic groups, the number of people in poverty decreased from 2015, with adults older than 65 the only population group experiencing an increase in the number of people living in poverty.  By providing opportunities for work and work supports, the Department is dedicated to improving the education, skills, health, and resources of low-income individuals and families to help them expand their productivity, achieve economic independence, and enhance their economic and health outcomes.

To reach this goal, the Department coordinates safety-net programs across the Federal Government; State, local, Tribal, and territorial governments; and faith-based and community organizations. One of the Department’s primary programs for families in need is the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.  TANF provides States with block grants to design and operate programs that help needy families reach self-sufficiency, with a focus on preparing parents for work.  The Department coordinates with the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education to implement the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which is designed to help young job seekers and people with disabilities access employment education, training, and support services and match employers with skilled workers.

The Office of the Secretary leads this objective.  The following divisions are responsible for implementing programs under this strategic objective: ACF, ACL, and CMS.

Objective 3.1 Table of Related Performance Measures

Increase the percentage of adult TANF recipients and former recipients who are newly employed (Lead Agency - ACF; Measure ID - 22B) 18
Measure FY 2012 FY 2013 FY 2014 FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019
Target 30.6 % 30.7 % 32.5 % 31.5 % Prior Result +0.1PP Prior Result +0.1PP Prior Result +0.1PP Prior Result +0.1PP
Result 30.4 % 32.4 % 31.4 % Jan 31, 2018 Jan 31, 2019 Jan 31, 2020 Jan 31, 2021 Jan 31, 2022
Status Target Not Met but Improved Target Exceeded Target Not Met Pending Pending Pending Pending Pending

TANF measures assess how effectively recipients transition from cash assistance to employment.  Full success requires not only that recipients be employed, but also that they remain and increase their earnings, demonstrating a reduction in dependency on cash assistance. 

ACF is committed to finding innovative and effective employment strategies through research, identifying and disseminating information on promising employment and skill-building strategies, and providing a range of targeted technical assistance efforts to states.  Through these efforts, ACF supports state, tribal, and community partners’ efforts to design and implement programs that focus simultaneously on adult employment and family well-being. 

Increase the percentage of refugees who are self-sufficient (not dependent on any cash assistance) within the first six months after arrival (Lead Agency - ACF; Measure ID - 16.1LT and 16C)
Measure FY 2012 FY 2013 FY 2014 FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019
Target 71.75 % 71.77 % 69.76 % 76.84 % 83.01 % 85.26 % Prior Result +1% Prior Result +1%
Result 71.06 % 69.07 % 76.08 % 82.19 % 84.42 % 84% Nov 1, 2018 Nov 1, 2019
Status Target Not Met but Improved Target Not Met Target Exceeded Target Exceeded Target Exceeded Target Not Met Pending Pending

In FY 2017, performance decreased slightly by 0.38 percentage points, with an actual result of 84 percent.  Decreasing and uneven arrival numbers created unusual challenges for grantees.  ACF expects to see an increase in FY 2018 and expects that goals will be met or exceeded through FY 2019 as arrival patterns and funding levels become more predictable.

18 This data excludes territories, but includes the District of Columbia.


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