Managing Agency Tennessee

Program Description

Families First is Tennesseee’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. It is temporary and has a primary focus on gaining self-sufficency through employment. The Families First program helps participants reach this goal by providing transportation, child care assistance, education, job training, employment activities, and other support services. Temporary cash assistance is also provided to families with dependent children and the family is unable to pay for essential living expenses. As part of the Families First program, each participant must agree to follow a Personal Responsibility Plan (PRP). Unless a participant is exempt from the work requirement, he/she must also agree to develop, follow, and complete a work plan. The work plan is based on the individual's needs and skills.

General Program Requirements

In order to qualify for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), a child must be living in the home of a parent or certain relative who is within a specified degree of relationship to the child. The child must be under age 19 or will complete high school before his/her 19th birthday. The child must be deprived of parental support due to absence, death, incapacity, or unemployment of one or both parents. The assistance unit must reside in Tennessee and be a citizen or non-citizen lawfully admitted to the United States. A pregnant woman may apply for TANF once she reaches her third trimester. The applicant must be willing to cooperate with child support. The assistance unit must meet the gross monthly income standard of $1658 for a household size of two (2), $1972 for a household size of three (3), $2240 for a household size of four (4), and $2470 for a household size of (5).

Your Next Steps

The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this program.

Application Process

To apply for this program visit Applications can be submitted online, by mail or fax, and to TDHS county offices.


Program Contact Information

Please call the Family Assistance Helpline to speak with program representatives: 1-866-311-4287 (toll-free).

Residents in the Nashville area can call: (615) 743-2000.

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