Program Descriptions


Child Support Program 
This program provides services that promote parental responsibility to meet the financial needs of children and their families.  Services include location of child's parent(s) for the purpose of obtaining support or establishing paternity; establishment of paternity; establishment and enforcement of child support orders; establishment and enforcement of medical support; collection and distribution of payments; modification of child support orders; and enforcement of spousal support orders, if child support is involved.

Families First (TANF, formerly AFDC)
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, educational supports, job training, employment activities, and other support services. Eligibility information can be found here

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - SNAP (formerly known as food stamps)
Nutrition assistance program that helps to ensure eligible low-income families and individuals are able to obtain a nutritious diet. TDHS has a dual focus on alleviating hunger and establishing or reestablishing self-sufficiency. Program benefits are intended to supplement a household’s monthly food budget to allow them to direct more of their available income toward essential living expenses.


Vocational Rehabilitation
Provides assistance to Tennesseans with disabilities to promote employment.  Services may include medical, psychological or vocational assessments, training, medical services, job development and job placement.

Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Provides rehabilitation services to the blind or visually impaired to promote employment, independent living, and adjustment to blindness.  This program also provides some emergency medical treatment to prevent blindness to those who cannot afford such treatment.

Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Provides specialized vocational rehabilitation services to eligible clients that enable them to enter, retain, or return to competitive employment.

Tennessee Council for the Deaf Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing (TCDDBHH)
Coordinates communication, information, and advocacy services for Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing Tennesseans through regional Community Service Centers.

Tennessee Rehabilitation Center at Smyrna
The only state-operated residential vocational rehabilitation training facility, which offers vocational evaluation, training, Independent Living Skills Training, job development and job placement.

Community Tennessee Rehabilitation Centers (CTRC’s)
Network of 17 facilities throughout the state which provide vocational evaluation, work adjustment and job placement in local communities.  Services provide an essential role in preparing and placing disabled Tennesseans into the labor market.

Tennessee Technology Access Program (TTAP)
To promote awareness about and access to assistive technology devices and services in order to increase independence of individuals with disabilities.

Disability Determination Services (DDS)
Make disability determinations for the Social Security Administration for Tennesseans applying for Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) and Supplemental Security Benefits (SSI) through the Social Security Program.


Child Care Licensing
To establish a licensed child care agency or adult day care agency.  To report a complaint against a child care agency or adult day care agency.

Child Care Resource & Referral Service
Personalized and detailed information to parents searching for child care.

Community Service Contract Programs
Community-based contracts with local governments and non-profit organizations that provide a wide range of support services to low income individuals and families (includes homemaker, adult day care, emergency assistance, nutrition programs, employment activities, and income management services.)

Child Care Payment Assistance
For Families First recipients and families with low-income.  Assistance available for purchasing child care while the parents are enrolled in Families First job-related training programs, job search or seeking employment.

Summer Food Service Program
Provides payments to eligible agencies for serving meals to low-income children.

Child and Adult Care Food Program
Provides payments to child and adult care centers and child care homes for serving meals to participants who meet age and income requirements.

Adult Protective Services
Services for adults, 18 years of age or older who are abused, neglected, or financially exploited and unable to protect themselves due to mental or physical disabilities or advanced age.