Barriers to participation in welfare-to-work programs are generally described in terms of human and social capital. Findings from case examination of four Philadelphia-areaw elfare-to-work programs under TANF suggest that theory about policy implementation is more applicable. Faulty policy logic, organizational and personnel incompetence, and inadequate coordination between and within funding, referral, program, and employer organizations regularly resulted in delayed program start-ups and strained program operations. Generally invisible and absent from research attention, these implementation delays and strains impeded program staff efforts and harmed TANF recipients. States' 24-month time limit policies are a critical target for advocacy efforts.