The mission of the Mississippi Department of Human Services is to provide services for people in need by optimizing all available resources to sustain the family unit and encourage family values, thereby promoting self-sufficiency and personal responsibility for all Mississippians.
Division of Economic Assisstance - (228) 897-5600
The Division of Economic Assistance (DEA) provides essential services to low-income individuals and families in Mississippi with the ultimate goal of assisting them to become self-sufficient. Services include food stamps, money payments, training and supportive services focused on employment opportunities and eligibility determination for Medicaid.Mississippi continues to be one of the leading states in designing and implementing welfare reform programs as evidenced by the significant decrease in TANF caseload because families are employed. The TANF state plan supports the goal of providing care to the truly needy while giving people the opportunity - through employment and transitional benefits, Medicaid and child care assistance - to make the change from welfare to work.
- Provide temporary assistance so that children may be cared for in their own homes
or in the homes of relatives
- End dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation,
work and marriage
- Prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and establish annual
numerical goals of preventing and reducing the incidence of these pregnancies
- Encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families
- Prevent program fraud and abuse
Public Law 104-193, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children Program with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program which includes cash assistance and the Work Program. With approval from the Department of Health and Human Services, the state implemented the TANF Block Grant Program on October 1, 1996. Recipient work requirements and services related to attaining self-sufficiency are an integral part of Mississippi's TANF Program. Because federal law mandates that adult recipients of TANF benefits, unless specifically exempt, have a sixty month lifetime limit to receive benefits, the agency's focus for these individuals is the determination of work readiness, or the assistance needed to become work ready and provision of job placement services.
Division of Child Support Enforcement
Every child deserves the love and support of both parents to develop into the most productive adult possible. As babies grow, they have the right to be financially supported by both parents. If a baby is born out of wedlock, one of the first steps towards securing future financial support and other benefits for the baby is to establish paternity (fatherhood). The Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE), authorized under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, is available to help locate alleged/putative fathers or non-custodial parents, establish and/or enforce support orders, and to collect and disburse child support collections.A main objective of the child support enforcement program is to ensure child support payments are made regularly and in the correct amount. While many non-custodial parents are willing to pay child support, lapses in payments occur. When payments are missed, enforcement actions are initiated.Some enforcement actions available are federal and state income tax offset, credit bureau reporting, income withholding, and license suspension. Child support payments collected for clients who are on public assistance are transferred to state and federal governments to repay directly to custodial parents who do not receive assistance.
Division of Family and Children Services (228) 897-5790
The Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) offers protective services to children, youth and vulnerable adults; provides foster care and adoption placement services for children in its custody; and conducts education and prevention activities for individuals and families who display or are at risk of developing behavior patterns associated with abuse and neglect. DFCS carries out its mandate to protect Mississippi's children and vulnerable adults through a staff of licensed social workers located in each county. Staff activities include: investigation of reports of abuse and neglect of children and vulnerable adults and implementation of appropriate case work intervention; placement of children of agency custody into the most appropriate environment; reporting to the court; counseling with and assessing resources for individuals and families to prevent or alleviate family dysfunction; and working with families to prevent the out-of-home placement of children.
For more information on programs and services available, you may contact:
Mississippi Department of Human Services
750 North State Street
Jackson, MS 39202
Telephone: (601) 359-4500