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Families First/TANF

Families First, Tennessee’s welfare reform program, began in September 1996, under a federal waiver and replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program. The federal waiver expired June 30, 2007. We currently operate our program in compliance with the Federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.


The Claims Resolution Act of 2010 set forth new reporting requirements for States as it extended the funding for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) financial assistance program through September 30, 2011. Sec. 812 Modifications to TANF Data Reporting specifies that new reporting requirements for engagement in additional work activities be published on each state's website.


Report on Engagement – April to June, 2011

Tennessee TANF State Plan - Effective 10/1/10 – 9/30/12


Current Families First recipients can find information on their Families First case with CaseConnect.


Families First provides temporary cash benefits to families who have children, and are experiencing financial difficulties. These benefits are time-limited to 60 months in a participant’s lifetime.


The Families First program emphasizes work, training, and personal responsibility. To be eligible for the program, participants must agree to follow a Personal Responsibility Plan (PRP). As part of the PRP, the participant agrees to keep immunizations and health checks up to date for their children, keep their children in school, co-operate with Child Support Services to establish paternity, and participate in a work/training program for at least 30 hours per week.


Unless a participant is exempt from the 30-hour work requirement, he/she will develop, with the assistance of a work activity contractor, an individualized career plan (ICP). This plan is based on the participant’s needs and skills. The ultimate goal of the ICP is to provide a work and training guide that will result in financial independence for the family.


Memos: Memo - Families First Video (Spanish)


Learn more about:
Applying for Services
EBT Cards/Electronic Benefit Transfer/video

Tennessee EBT Cash Access Locations
Child Care Certificate Program
Families First Highlights and Services

Personal Responsibility
Support Services


Reports and Information:
Families First Handbook

Statistical Information

TANF State Plan
Calculation Methodology for Additional CRC due to Excess MOE Spending, Examples of FY 2008 Credits

Non Discrimination Information. In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. Under the Food Stamp Act and USDA policy, discrimination is prohibited also on the basis of religion or political beliefs.
To file a complaint of discrimination, contact USDA or HHS. Write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 or (202) 720-6382 (TTY). Write HHS, Director, Office for Civil Rights, Room 506-F, 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201 or call (202) 619-0403 (voice) or (202) 619-3257 (TDD). USDA and HHS are equal opportunity providers and employers.

Have a Question?

We offer a number of different Customer Service Options:


Frequently Asked Questions


Case Connect - Look up your Family assistance Information


Direct Email - Prompt response to all your questions


***Average Wait Time: 60-90 seconds