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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., is congratulating the Wyoming Department of Family Services for winning an award for its efforts to moving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients from welfare to work.

"This award provides encouraging evidence that welfare reform is working for Wyoming and that residents are making the transition from dependency to self-sufficiency," said Enzi.

Wyoming's High Performance Bonus award of $877,767 is based on receiving a top ranking with improvements in job entry, participation rate of former TANF recipients in Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Programs, and an increase in the number of children living in married couple households during 2003. The bonus money was awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and must be used to carry out the continuation of the TANF program as well as supportive services to overcome barriers to employment and self-sufficiency for Wyoming residents.

States competing for the High Performance bonus awards placed more than 532,929 recipients in new jobs in 2003 and 59 percent continued to be employed six months after starting the job. An average increase in earnings of 33 percent for current and former welfare recipients was also reported.

For more information on the High Performance bonus awards and TANF visit their web site (www.hhs.gov).

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