The BNF program provided customized support through home visitation to rural Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients to improve job readiness, life skills, and family management practices, and to assist in the transition to economic independence.
The BNF program provided customized, interactive life-skills education, mentoring, and service coordination through home visits. BNF participants received weekly or biweekly home visits during which master’s-level educators (with small caseloads of 12 to 18 clients) delivered curricula designed to improve life skills and family management practices.
Educators tailored curricula to fit immediate participant needs and used interactive activities such as developing and maintaining a budget, practicing interviewing skills, and understanding effective communication with spouses, partners, and employers.
The educators worked with BNF participants and sometimes involved other family members. The educators also provided informal counseling, referrals, and support in accessing services and resources.
After enrolling in the program, BNF participants were required to participate and could be sanctioned, facing reduction in their TANF grant if they did not. Sanctions could include the complete loss of cash assistance for the family, including a penalty of 1 month for the first sanction, 3 months for the second, and 12 months for the third.
The program consisted of one-hour home-based sessions weekly or biweekly during an eight-month period. Participants had access to the BNF program activities for up to six months after they found employment. BNF focused on TANF recipients who had faced difficulty meeting work participation requirements in the past. The program was implemented in more than 65 rural counties in Nebraska.