Temporary Assistance for Needy Families - TANF

TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)

The Arkansas Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program was created to help families stay together by empowering family leaders with job skills, resources and assistance. With that in mind, TANF serves four functions:

  • Provides assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in homes of relatives.
  • Ends the dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work and marriage.
  • Reduces the incidences of out-of-wedlock pregnancies.
  • Encourages the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.

Available Programs

TEA: The Transitional Employment Assistance program emphasizes work as the first step toward building a brighter future. Through training, education and work activities, individuals are guided to become self-sufficient. This federally funded program provides time-limited cash assistance to needy families with (or expecting) children. In addition, TEA furnishes parents with work training and other supportive services they need in order to attain permanent self-sufficiency. The TEA program also provides assistance to children being cared for by non-parental guardians. Financial assistance is based on family size, income, resources and the ages of the children. Time-limited support is provided with a variety of supportive services while moving individuals back into the labor market.

Work Pays: Arkansas Work Pays is a post-employment program that provides assistance to prior participants of the TEA program. Participating families are eligible for the same support services and assistance as families enrolled in the TEA program and will receive a monthly cash assistance payment. The extra income provided is designed to help families make an easier transition to self-sufficiency.

Career Pathways: Under the Career Pathways Initiative, Arkansas invests public funds to support the development and implementation of career pathway programs in the state’s two-year colleges and technical institutions for low income families. In addition, career pathway programs provide training in local, high-demand occupations and career fields, in addition to intensive counseling and supplemental services such as child care and transportation assistance.

Community Investment Initiative: The Arkansas Division of Workforce Services contracts with private or community organizations, including faith-based organizations, to offer services and supports to parents, children and youth in their communities. The Community Investment Initiative focuses on improving outcomes for youth; parenting and family functioning; marriage and relationship skills; employment skills; family connections of parents who leave state jails and prisons; and support devices to child-only cases in the TEA program.

Click on one of the following links for more information about TANF.


The Information Desk is here to provide help and information to our customers who choose to contact us by telephone, email or fax. Our goal is to ensure that the customer’s issue is resolved to the customer’s satisfaction. To do this, the Information Desk staff will periodically contact customers to ensure their question or issue was handled in a satisfactory manner.

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m

Telephone Number:
1-844-908-2178
501-682-2121

ADWS Local Office Contact Information located at bottom of page

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 2981
Little Rock, AR 72203

Email Address:
ADWS.Info@arkansas.gov

Fax Number:
501-682-8845



                                                                                                                

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
programs are federally supported 100% by the U.S.
Department of Human Services as part of an award
totaling $56,545,640.00 with $0 & 0% state,
local, and/or non-governmental funds.

© 2019 ADWS | #2 Capitol Mall | Little Rock, Arkansas 72201