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Virginia’s Home Visiting Programs and TANF

Virginia’s home visiting programs are at risk of losing funding because of the decline in the TANF balance over the next two fiscal years. The projected TANF Balance as of 6/30/23 is $46,316,648. By 6/30/24, the projected TANF Balance is $4,185,257[i]. Virginia needs to plan out how it will continue supporting home visiting programs while managing this reduction in TANF spending.

About Home Visiting:

Home visiting connects pregnant and parenting families with young children to a trained, family support professional who provides customized coaching and guidance through pregnancy and the early stages of a child’s development. Home visitors help parents understand their role as their child’s first, and most important, teacher. Home visitors help families realize their strengths, and unlock their child’s potential.

Home visiting benefits families, children, and the community.

· Moms and babies are healthier

· Children are better prepared for school

· Children are safer

· Families are more self-sufficient

· Home visiting programs save money in the long run

TANF Spending Summary:

TANF supports Home Visiting Services to 4,574 children (3,970 families) in 123 Virginia communities. Local programs rely on TANF funding to leverage an additional $11,000,000 for direct services.

  • CHIP of Virginia $2,400,000

  • Healthy Families $9,035,501

  • Resource Mothers $1,000,000

  • Early Impact Virginia $600,000

Our Ask:

1) Fill funding gaps with General Fund to leverage federal funding and continue services

2) Partner with Families Forward VA and Early Impact VA to develop alternative funding streams for home visiting programs

The 2022 GA directed the VA Department of Social Services to create a workgroup to make recommendations one of which was: “…continuing to support those programs with state general funds.”[ii]

Local home visiting programs should contact their local governments and ask that the General Assembly fill any gaps in TANF funding for Home Visiting. You can use draft letter below when contacting your local city council members or county board of supervisors.

hv tanf local advocacy letter REVISED
Download DOCX • 22KB

We have also created a one page issue brief about the TANF and Home Visiting that you can print out and take with and use when speaking to elected officials about this issue.

external hv tanf issue brief
Download DOCX • 26KB

Brief History:

Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) is a federally funded program designed to provide financial assistance to families in need. In addition to direct payments to families in need, there are 4 other related categories for which TANF funds may be used.

Funding has remained flat since the 1990s when the program began.

Virginia receives $158 million/year and until recently did not spend all of this allocation. Rather, Virginia was able to ‘save’ unspent funds in a TANF Reserve Fund.

To help backfill home visiting funding cuts following the 2008 recession, the VA Legislature began funding home visiting services with TANF Reserve funds (CHIP $1.4M; HFV $4.26M = $5.66M)

Over the last decade, VA Governors and Legislators have increasingly relied on TANF Reserve funds to support health and social services, e.g. Food Banks, DV Shelters, LARCs, etc…

In 2017, an additional ~$6.75M in TANF Reserve funding was allocated by the VA Legislature to support home visiting services through three program models (CHIP, HFV and Resource Mothers)

In 2019, $600K in TANF Reserve funds were allocated by the VA Legislature to support Early Impact Virginia

The 2022 GA directed the VA Department of Social Services to create a workgroup to study TA spending and make recommendations to ensure structural balance in TANF spending.

The workgroup determined that TANF Obligations currently exceed federal funding by approximately $61M/year.

The projected TANF balance as of 6/30/24 will be $4M.

[i] Virginia Department of Social Services. “Report on TANF Participants & Community Employment and Training Programs.” 26 January 2023 [ii] Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Interim Working Group Report – January 2023 (


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