Family-sized support.

Families First / TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)

Families First, the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, is a workforce development and employment program. The Families First program emphasizes work, training, and personal responsibility. It is temporary and has a primary focus on gaining self-sufficiency through employment. The Families First program helps participants reach this goal by providing temporary cash assistance, transportation, child care assistance, education, job training, employment activities, and other support services.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility requirements for Families First participation: The assistance unit (family) must contain a needy child(ren) under the age of 18, or 19, if the child(ren) will complete secondary education prior to his/her 19th birthday. Social Security numbers or verification of application for the number must be provided for all assistance unit members. Assistance unit members must live in the state of Tennessee. Assistance unit members must be citizens or lawfully admitted aliens. The dependent child(ren) must be within a specified degree of relationship to the caretaker. The dependent child(ren) must live in the home with the parent or caretaker who is within a specified degree of relationship. All adults and minor parents must sign a Personal Responsibility Plan. Assistance Unit children must receive immunizations and health checks. Assistance Unit children must stay in school. The caretaker must cooperate with Child Support. All adults and minor parents must participate in a work activity for 30 hours per week, unless exempt. The Assistance Unit must not exceed the $2000.00 resource limit. The Assistance Unit’s income must not exceed the Gross Income Limit for the Assistance Unit’s size.

How to get started

  1. Use one of these methods to contact this service:
    • Phone
    • Apply Online
    • Walk-In
    • Mail in application
  2. Find the location closest to you below, and use their contact information.

Ages Served

All Ages of Children


Number of Locations:

98

Find a location near you