Mikayla Clements
Kristi Loberg
Introduction to Social work
Concordia college

Teen pregnancy is common in America, we see a stigma around teen parents needing extra help. However, there are programs in our welfare system that are specifically for teen parents. The main program set up for teen parents is TANF ( Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) . This program has its positives as well as its negatives when it comes to helping teen parents. Within this paper, I will go into more detail about TANF and how it benefits teens parents but also how there is still some work to do. There is also a real case assessment regarding a teen mother and her experiences used within this paper to show the social worker approach to cases such as teen pregnancy. Teen pregnancy is a topic that does deserve more attention in the social work field because it will always be something we must help with.

Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) and Tee n Parents

The American Public never loved social welfare programs, but it did not necessarily want them dismantled according to The Encyclopedia of S ocial Welfare H istory . In fact, by the early 1990s, nearly 50 percent of all households drew on government benefits from Food stamps to social security to mor tgage interest tax deductions. To convince the public that it stood to gain from smaller government and weaker social programs, the reformers had to undermine the longstanding belief that government should play a large role in society. Abramovitz (1996) suggest that Civil rights gains were called reverse discrimination and the victories of the women's and gay rights movement were a threat to "family values."
Having set the stage, the welfare reformers began the attack on the welfare state by targeting AFDC (Aid to Families w/Dependent Children) , the most vulnerable and least popular welfare program. Drawing on social science theories that blamed poverty on the values and behavior of the poor, the reformers put forward the belief that social problems stemmed from a "culture of poverty" that promoted "defective" values and "deviant" behavior.
In 1996, Congress passed and the President signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (P.L. 104-93). It combined AFD C jobs , and Emergency Assistance into block grants of single capped entitlement to states and placed federal childcare funding into a separate block grant for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). The new federal law known as TANF was implemented in most states within the year.
Reflecting the "work first" approach, TANF placed a lifetime limit of five years on welfare eligibility. The new approach to welfare funding made numerous changes to the provision of health and social services and gave states more freedom in designing their own social programs and defining their own eligibility requirements.
The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act also shifted the spotlight of welfare from family maintenance through government-supported financial assistance to family economic self-sufficiency through paid employment. This federal welfare reform policy known as TANF encourages employment and personal responsibility by mandating states to provide financial benefits to families on a temporary basis, having recipients participate in a work requirement while receiving aid, and providing incentives for recipients to transition off welfare. The programs name indicated its purpose and the social mess age to the recipient.
U nder federal l aw, families are required to: (1) Work after two years on financial assistance, (2) Adhere to behavioral criteria to continue receiving benefits, and (3) Only be eligible for aid for up to five years.
The new public assistance program did retain many of the eligibility standards, benefits, services and requirements of the former program. All an indication of the national change in objectives f rom welfa re to work for TANF recipients .
If the teen maintains a "B" average in school a bonus of $50.00 will be granted for each report card, and the money is paid directly to the teens. However, the teens will be penalized for not turning the report cards into the case worker on or before the dead line. For example: A teen turned in her report card, one-day after the deadline and she did not get her