Welfare reform meeting set for Tuesday

The Department of Human Services and Blueprint For Change, will present a half-day workshop on Kaua‘i to develop a strategic plan for utilizing Temporary Assistance for Needy Families welfare reform funds.

The public can attend the workshop from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday at the Kaua‘i Marriot Resort, 3610 Rive St. in Lihu‘e. Registration and a continental breakfast will be from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

The TANF program, reauthorized by Congress on Feb. 1, will be effective for five more years starting this October, states a Department of Human Services press release. DHS is seeking statewide input on how best to allocate these funds.

DHS Director Lillian Koller points out in the release that TANF provides more than $170 million a year in flexible and much-needed federal and state funding to reduce family poverty in Hawai‘i.

“Historically, this funding source has been utilized by government, community organizations and businesses to provide cash assistance, preventive services and jobs,” Koller said in the release. “However, we believe more can be done to assist our needy families and children. This workshop is a significant opportunity to examine past funding and determine how best to move forward with this valuable resource.”

On Kaua‘i, TANF supports services such as job placement, positive youth development programs, domestic violence legal help, pregnancy prevention, substance abuse treatment and after-school enrichment programs for children.

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