Survey launched to identify TANF clients’ needs and improve services

Heather Steffl
Devils Lake Daily Journal

BISMARCK – The North Dakota Department of Human Services is inviting current or past Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program clients to take a short customer experience survey now through Aug. 31, 2021. The department wants to better understand TANF clients’ needs and identify opportunities for improving support.

“Strong, stable families is a key department priority,” explained Economic Assistance Division Director Michele Gee. “The survey will help us understand the experiences of TANF participants, including the changing needs of families, so that we can better support their economic health and well-being.”

The survey can be completed online at TANF participants unable to complete an online survey can call program administrator Joan Schatz at 701-328-4005, 711 (TTY) to complete it by phone. Responses are confidential.

Gee said the survey is part of a comprehensive review of the state’s TANF program, which began earlier this year with support from the Office of Family Assistance Peer Technical Assistance Network. The review includes examining the delivery system, policy and administration of TANF in North Dakota.

The TANF program serves low-income families with children who are deprived of parental support or care due to divorce, separation, death or disability. Its purpose is to move families from public assistance toward self-sufficiency by providing time-limited cash assistance along with work readiness, training and job placement services for parents. 

Between July 2019 and March 2021, the program served an average of 980 North Dakota households per month, and 79% of participants were children. The average TANF benefit was $323 a month.

Information about TANF is available online at

The DHS Economic Assistance division partners with local human service zones to help lower-income North Dakotans when they are struggling to make ends meet by connecting them to resources that can help meet their basic needs, preventing greater and more damaging crises.