The 2006 reauthorization of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996 and the Ohio Works First (OWF) legislation created changes that focused policy and practice on moving recipients from welfare to work and increasing the collection of child support. Most victims of domestic violence want to access the available economic opportunities and want to have child support enforced. However, there will be some victims of domestic violence who are unable to meet requirements because their abusive partner who, in order to further his control, will sabotage their efforts to meet TANF requirements. Other victims may experience mental health or physical health issues that prevent them from meeting TANF requirements. TANF responses should be built around the range of factors those victims of domestic violence experience. The opportunities TANF offers may well be the vehicle that a victim uses to free her and her family from abuse.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services funded the Ohio Domestic Violence Network TANF Training Project because together we realized the challenges OWF staff encounter when working with victims. The intent of the TANF Training Project tool-kit is to provide OWF staff with resources to assist in working with victims of domestic violence while at the same time taking into account the realities faced by the OWF worker. The goal is to further the collaboration between OWF workers and the domestic violence community. Through the integration of resources, we can become crucial allies in aiding women on the road to self-sufficiency and offering them resources to take back their lives.
• TANF Training Project Tool-kit