Tribal TANF

A notable aspect of the MPKGC’s practice involves advising clients on matters pertaining to Tribal TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). The firm has extensive, in-depth experience in every aspect of Tribal TANF administration, providing clients with advice and counsel on issues from establishing a TANF program, to representation in administrative appeals, to retrocession. Partners at MPKGC have:

  • drafted extensive TANF policies and procedures,
  • negotiated County-Tribal MOUs,
  • created new or revised Tribal Family Assistance Plans (TFAPs),
  • negotiated 1994 caseloads,
  • advised and reviewed TANF reporting requirements, and
  • provided extensive advice on all aspects of regulatory and financial compliance.

Additionally, MPKGC has developed and provided training to local boards, councils and staff, as well as developed training for regional and national Administration for Children and Families (ACF) meetings and regional and national Tribal TANF meetings.

MPKGC’s history and experience with Tribal TANF literally goes back to before the existence of Tribal TANF programs in the United States. When Tribal TANF was first proposed during the Welfare Reform debates of the mid-1990s, founding partner Michael Pfeffer (then the Executive Director of California Indian Legal Services) worked with the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and others on drafting the original legislation creating the Tribal TANF system, the technical amendments, and ultimately the federal regulations. On the state level, Mr. Pfeffer helped draft the revisions to the Welfare and Institution Code that not only provided California tribes sufficient funding to operate this important new program, but also mandated that counties, when developing their own plans, must take tribal concerns into account.

While CalWorks was under consideration, Mr. Pfeffer further secured a significant grant that allowed him to hire or devote additional staff to help California tribes negotiate with their counties; the grant was also used to hold many training events throughout the state to educate tribal leaders about the program. Three of MPKGC’s named partners were very involved in this project. As more and more tribes seized the opportunity to administer Tribal TANF, the project evolved to continue to meet the needs of the California Tribal TANF community, and MPKGC’s expertise in this practice area has continued to grow.

For information about how we assist with Tribal TANF, we welcome you to contact MPKGC.