The Department of Human Services (DHS) is Michigan's public assistance, child and family welfare agency. DHS directs the operations of public assistance and service programs through a network of over 100 county department of human service offices around the state.
Applications for assistance can be made in person, by mail, by fax or over the Internet, depending on the program. See our Customer Application Process for more details.
Local offices administer the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families grant (Family Independence Program) and Food Assistance program and take applications for Medicaid which is administered by the Michigan Department of Community Health. Other assistance programs DHS administers are medical assistance jointly funded by the federal government and the state; state disability assistance and state medical services program, which are funded by the state and State Emergency Relief Program; and food stamps, a federally funded program. The agency administers the child support collection and client welfare fraud investigation programs. In addition, the agency provides other services to children, adults, and families in the state.
Services to adults include protective services, adult placement services, home help services, and assistance with health, housing, transportation, and educational needs.
Family services include referral for employment and training, independent living services providing housing assistance, family planning, counseling, health-related services, volunteer services, refugee assistance, foster family care, transitional services to youth exiting foster care/out-of-home placements, child day care, migrant services, Native American services, and domestic violence prevention and treatment programs. These services are provided to help maintain and strengthen family life and to help families become self-sufficient.
A wide range of service programs is available for the families and children of Michigan. They include protective and preventive services for children who are neglected, abused, or exploited, including foster care placement. The agency also provides a wide range of institutional and non-institutional social services for the care, training, and treatment of neglected and delinquent children committed to the agency as state wards and temporary court wards. Such services include casework and counseling, adoption, foster care, and the operation of centers for institutional residential care and group homes. In addition, it offers consultation on general child welfare problems to private and public agencies throughout the state and offers services through the Interstate Compact.
The Department of Human Services also administers a number of special and autonomous entities including the Michigan Domestic Violence Prevention and Treatment Board, and the Children's Trust Fund.