Families First Programs

  • Workforce Essentials administers job placement services (something we like to call WorkFirstTN) to Families First customers in 34 western and middle Tennessee Counties. We focus on Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) initiatives and offer a comprehensive network of services, including career assessments and job search, to help Tennessee’s DHS Families First clients succeed.

    What does that serious sounding definition mean for you!? If you’ve been enrolled in Families First through the TN Department of Human Services (and live in any of the 34 counties we serve), you’ll be referred to Workforce Essentials for activities such as job readiness skills, job training, and placement services. Simple enough. Let’s get started working together!

    Families First, Tennessee’s groundbreaking welfare reform program, has been updated to place heavier emphasis on assisting individuals with finding work first, while offering assistance with any of the necessary job skills. Participants may be eligible to receive childcare, transportation and other services bridging the gap from government assistance to self-sufficiency through developing tailored career plans. Since the state program was revamped, we thought a bright, shiny new name would be appropriate…hence, our WorkFirstTN was born!

    WorkFirstTN GOALS:

    Our primary goal is to quickly move program clients (artists formerly known as Families First) into unsubsidized employment and to accomplish this prior to their 60-month lifetime limit on welfare based services. Our service plan takes into account that a client must be engaged in a minimum of thirty (30) hours per week in a combination of core or non-core activities. Twenty (20) of the total thirty (30) hours will be in core activities. The core activities that we deliver are:

    • Unsubsidized employment
    • Job Search and Job Readiness Assistance
    • Work Experience
    • Vocational Educational Training
    • Community Service Programs

    Non-Core activities, such as adult education and job skills training (directly related to employment) will not exceed 10 hours of the required 30 hours of participation per week.

    We know ‘Core’ and ‘Non-Core’ descriptive words sound a little stuffy and possibly better suited to describe an apple, but the program really works! For additional information about Tennessee’s Families First program, check out www.tn.gov/humanserv/