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Human Services


Colorado works
temporary assistance for needy families (TANF)

Colorado Works is Colorado's version of the Federal  Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Provides cash assistance to low-income families. It is the result of welfare reform and represents a new approach to helping families escape from poverty. Colorado Works was designed to show it is possible to overcome barriers to self-sufficiency with logical supports services.

For additional information on Colorado Benefits and Applications for Assistance apply and check your benefits online: Colorado Assistance Programs PEAK. You can apply in person at the El Paso County Department of Human Services, 1675 W. Garden of the Gods, 3rd Floor, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 AM - 4:30 PM.

Application for any Colorado Works program begins with an assessment.  Assessments are conducted Monday – Friday from 8am-4:30pm.  The assessment is designed to determine a family’s needs, challenges, strengths and level of job readiness.  At the assessment family’s may choose one of the below Colorado Works programs.

Diversion – State Diversion

Diversion II is an alternative to applying for ongoing Colorado Works. The ideal candidate is work ready, eager to begin job search, has few barriers to employment yet still requires financial assistance to sustain their family until employed.

  • Eligibility Criteria:
    • Must meet ColoradoWorks income, resource, and non-financial criteria.
    • Families must have a dependent child in the home.
    • Participation is based on the employability assessment and job readiness – as defined by the client.
  • Services Provided: The client is involved in job search designed to help the family find employment within 60 days. Services and payments are based on need and agreed upon during the development of an Individual Responsibility Contract.   Services include, but are not limited to: job search assistance, career counseling, financial assistance and case management. They also receive child care assistance (CCCAP), Medicaid, and Food Stamps.  Participants can access on-site partners and other community referrals.
  • Time Limits: Diversion II is a time-limited program lasting 60 days in most cases. Failure to gain employment within the 60 day period can result in a roll over to Colorado Works or if the family failed to follow the contract they can be denied Colorado Works for 90 days.

Basic Cash Assistance (BCA)

Basic cash assistance is an ongoing employment and participation based financial assistance program for low income families with children. The goal of Colorado Works is to assist adults in becoming employment ready and to assist with job entry and retention. All while receiving BCA, clients must participate in work related activities. All income received under the Basic Cash Assistance program counts toward the client’s lifetime limit.

  • Eligibility Criteria:
    • Must have a dependent child, be a US citizen or legal alien and meet income and resource guidelines.
    • Adults complete an assessment and develop a self-sufficiency plan (Individual Responsibility Contract).
    • All ColoradoWorks participants are required to participate in work-related activities.
    • Child Care eligibility is tied to activities included in IRC.
  • Services Provided: Financial assistance, Food Stamps, Medicaid and Child Care are provided. Integrated case management including eligibility determination, family assessment, case planning, referral to employment and family stability services, monitoring progress and providing of transition services.
  • Time Limits: Adults have a 60-month lifetime limit.  They must be involved in work activities every month beginning with month 24. 

Relative Caregiver Program 

The Family Services Team seeks to strengthen each family’s ability to maintain a supportive and stable home for their relative children by respecting what is unique within each family.

  • The TANF child only program is designed to provide assistance to you for your
    relative child.  If you are a grandparent/relative caregiver you may qualify to receive financial assistance through our program. In addition to financial assistance, we provide the following services:
    • Assistance with applying for Medicaid
    • Support Groups
    • Assistance with budgeting
    • Referrals to community organizations
    • Intergenerational
    • Extracurricular activities
    • And so much more
  • There are many reasons children are living with their relatives.  Relatives are important because they:
    • Provide a safe home
    • Enable children to live with people they know and trust
    • Allow family relationships to be maintained and flourish
    • Create life-long family traditions and memories
    • Build good foundations

To access services and learn more about how we can help please call our information line for Grandparent/Relative Caregiver Program at (719)444-5226.


Note: Weekly Attendance & Progress Report may be submitted at El Paso County Department of Human Services, 1675 W. Garden of the Gods, 3rd Floor, or faxed to 719-444-5320 every Monday.
Here are additional resources that are available: