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Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

Help for Parents With Substance Use Disorders

RNC Operational Updates for Monday, July 15, through Friday, July 19

The Milwaukee County Courthouse will remain open during the Republican National Convention (RNC). All court operations (Civil and Family Filings, Restraining Orders, Probate, In Custody Intake Court, Preliminary Hearings) will be operating at Vel Phillips Juvenile Justice Center (10201 W. Watertown Plank Rd. Wauwatosa, WI.) For more information about how other Milwaukee County services and operations will be impacted during the RNC, visit Milwaukee County's RNC updates webpage.  

Helping Families in Need Stay Together

For parents in Milwaukee County who struggle with substance use disorders, the treatment and recovery services they need to help their families stay together may be available for free through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

TANF is a federal government program created to help families in need get back on their feet and reclaim their independence.

Residents may apply for the TANF program by visiting an Access Point, community-based organizations that provide services to those with a substance use disorder, listed below. If they meet eligibility criteria, their family will receive support to cover basic needs as they work toward becoming more independent.


Who is Eligible? | Help for Pregnant Women | Alcohol & Drug Use Treatment | Testimonials | Access Points

Who is Eligible?

There is no limit on the number of times you and your loved ones can use the TANF benefit. If you and your loved ones have received TANF benefits before, you may still be eligible for these services again.

To be eligible, you must be a Milwaukee County resident and meet at least one of these requirements:

  • Are currently pregnant
  • Regularly pay child support, if applicable
  • Have a child(ren) under the age of 18 who live(s) in Milwaukee County
  • Are involved in multiple systems, such as W2, Child Welfare, Food Share, Probation/Parole, etc.
  • Have an annual household income level of 200% below the poverty level

If you or your loved ones qualify for the TANF program, you will be assigned a Recovery Support Coordinator (RSC) who will be by your side to assist with service planning and coordination to help you meet your goals.

Help for Pregnant Women

We know that parents and pregnant women want the best for their children. But for some women who are pregnant, their struggles with alcohol and other drugs could be putting their families at risk of being pulled apart. Free treatment, care coordination and recovery support services to help families stay together are available through the TANF program.

To help you get started, BHS’ Community Access to Recovery Services (CARS) will provide you with comprehensive treatment, care coordination and recovery support services, including assistance with or referrals to any of the following:

  • A specialized treatment plan designed by professionals from various specialities
  • Pregnancy education and counseling
  • Parenting education
  • Individual, group and family therapy
  • Assessment and treatment for co-occurring issues
  • Prenatal care
  • Recovery Support Coordination
  • Peer support

Alcohol and Drug Use Treatment

For TANF-eligible parents who struggle with substance use disorders, it can be difficult to support themselves and their families without first addressing their addiction. Because of this, TANF recipients are also eligible to receive free treatment, recovery services and care coordination through the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Services’ CARS program.

If needed, your Recovery Support Coordinator will make recommendations for treatment or recovery services that best meet your needs. They can walk with you through the process and connect you and your loved ones to services and resources that can help with prevention, treatment or recovery from substance use disorders.

Through these free programs and with the support of your RSC, you and your loved ones will learn what needs to be done so your family can be self-sufficient, enjoy an improved quality of life, and reduce the chances of relapse or a return to using drugs and alcohol.

This means you and your loved ones may be enrolled free of charge in programs such as:


  • Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Day Treatment
  • Daily Living Skills
  • AODA Medically Monitored Residential Treatment
  • Housing Assistance
  • AODA Outpatient Treatment
  • Medication Assisted Treatment
  • AODA Transitional Residential Treatment
  • Parent Assistant
  • Anger Management
  • Parenting Classes
  • Bridge Housing
  • Peer Mentoring
  • Child Care
  • Recovery House
  • Community Employment Program
  • Spiritual Support

Testimonials: Finding Success After Treatment and Recovery

Tiffany’s Journey Toward Becoming a Better Mom

BHS works to connect you with individuals who can help on your journey to recovery.

“I’m grateful to have someone believe in me when I thought everyone was against me.”

— Tiffany, TANF recipient and mother of four

“Educating Tiffany on all of the aspects of what’s going on in her life, including addressing her drinking and mental health, is what helps Tiffany understand what is happening and lets us arm her with the tools she needs for success and acceptance for what is happening.”

— Sa Aire Salton, MS, CSAS, LPCIT, CFS, a program coordinator and clinician with the Milwaukee Women’s Center

Brandon Receives Another Chance to Connect With His Family

There is no limit to the number of times you can receive TANF benefits.

“They realize that sometimes you’re going to mess up. And they don’t turn their backs on you.”

— Brandon, multitime TANF recipient and father of two

The support you receive is focused on keeping you connected to your family.

“Being part of the TANF program not only gave me the skills I needed to be self-sufficient, it gave me a network. I realized the professionals were there to help me. The big thing for me was always having someone there advocating for me before I had the voice to do it.”

— Brandon, multitime TANF recipient and father of two

Hear From Other TANF Recipients

Access Points

Contact one of our community-based Access Point locations today to find out if you are eligible to receive TANF benefits.

Sirona Recovery
(414) 552-8079 | Please call first


205 W. Highland Ave. Suite 400

Milwaukee, WI

 (414) 263-6000 | Please call first

2821 N. Vel R. Phillips Ave.

Milwaukee, WI

Wisconsin Community Services
(414) 885-2329 | Please call first

2610 W. North Avenue

Milwaukee, WI


1220 W. Vliet St.

Suite 301

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53205

Our Vision

Together, creating healthy communities.

Our Mission

Empowering safe, healthy, meaningful lives.

Our Values

Partnership, Respect, Integrity, 

Diversity, Excellence

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