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Public Policy and Administration


Gregory Campbell


Individuals dependent on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) encounter

multiple contributors that impede economic empowerment and a pathway out of poverty

that leads to self '€“ sufficiency. Previous research has not been fully clarified as to why

TANF has not been successful in moving recipients out of dependency and into lasting

economic success. The purpose of this phenomenological qualitative study was to

conduct a comparative analysis between two administrations, namely the Obama and

Trump administrations, concerning welfare policies. The human capital theory provided

the theoretical framework for the study. This study explored the lived experiences of

TANF recipients related to cognitive preparedness and skill-based training as a pathway

out of poverty leading to lasting economic success. A purposive, homogenous sampling

method was utilized to select 6 TANF recipients to participate in this study. Only

recipients during the Obama and Trump administrations were considered for participation

in this study. A validated, semi structured interview questionnaire was utilized. An

inductive, In Vivo coding technique indicated that there are barriers within the TANF

program, and the program did not engage in the holistic development involving both

skill-based and cognitive training to lead to self '€“ sufficiency and lasting economic

change. As a result of research findings, further critical research needs to be done

specifically towards the TANF workfare program to assess its effective approach in

provoking high '€“ wage employment. Findings may be used to influence individuals

receiving welfare assistance to provide a pathway out of poverty through economic

empowerment, training, and new policies, leading to positive social change.

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