Pregnant and parenting teens often delay applying for TANF benefits, have trouble keeping their appointments once they have filed an application, and fail to follow through on responsibilities necessary for them to receive TANF. In many situations
eligible teens and their child(ren) may not receive the benefits they need.
To help ensure that all teen parents receive the benefits for which they qualify, TPS providers serve as advocates for teen parents during the period of time in which their cash application or request for SWAP to cash is pending.
Under Teen Parent Intake/Benefit Advocacy the TPS provider:
- assists teens in meeting eligibility requirements for programs and services;
- helps teens navigate through the application process;
- provides teens with a working knowledge of the DHS programs and services available to them; and
- encourages teen parents to exercise their rights, meet their responsibilities, and cooperate with all program requirements.
When a teen parent applies for TANF, or a teen parent receiving medical assistance requests a SWAP to cash, explain the TPS Teen Parent Intake/Benefit Advocacy process to the applicant.