View definitions of terms used throughout the Pathways Clearinghouse.


Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

TANF provides federal grant funds to states to provide families with children (including pregnant women) or individual children whose incomes falls below a certain threshold with time-limited financial assistance and related supports, such as childcare assistance and job preparation services. Each state determines the type and amount of assistance, other supports, and eligibility requirements. TANF replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) in 1996. Unlike AFDC, TANF requires adults who are able to work to participate in work or training activities and limits families with adult recipients to no more than five years of benefits.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

WIC provides federal grants to states for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five determined to be at "nutritional risk" by a health professional. To be eligible, applicants' gross income must fall at or below 185 percent of the U.S. Poverty Income Guidelines, though states may set lower income eligibility limits.


Any training program.

Transitional jobs

Jobs that are meant to integrate those who have been out of the workforce (for example, former prisoners) into the community. They can be paid or unpaid.