Families First Eligibility Information, Highlights and Personal Responsibility Plans

Families First provides assistance 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:

  • Make sure their children receive immunization shots and health checks.
  • Make sure their children attend school, including kindergarten regularly.
  • Cooperate with child support requirements.
  • Agree to work or attend work preparation activity, if not exempt.​​

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. Participants must comply with the plan that they developed with DHS. Failure to comply without good cause could affect the participant’s eligibility to access program services and cash benefits. 

"Child only cases" is a special category of exemption. When a child lives with a relative who is not their parent, the adult may choose to be excluded from the case. When the parent(s) collect SSI, they are also excluded from the case.