Work First Program


What is Work First?

Work First simulates employment and is a work-for-benefits program. It is designed to offer supportive services to assist families with obtaining and maintaining employment.

There are several parts to the program:

  • A temporary financial assistance program for families experiencing a temporary break in employment due to an unforeseen circumstance
  • A short-term cash assistance program for unemployed families or relatives caring for minor family members (children under 18)
  • Social work support services to relatives caring for minor family members

For more information, call 919-989-5300.

How Do I Apply?

To submit an application, please visit the Department of Social Services at:

714 North St.

Smithfield, NC 27577

Our regular business hours are Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.


All inquiries go through the DSS main number:

(919) 989-5300

This includes Food Stamps (FNS), Medicaid, Temporary Assistance Needy Families (TANF), Child Care, Child Protection, Adult Protection, Foster Parenting, Transportation, and more.


Report Child Abuse/Neglect

E-mail cpsintake@johnstonnc.com or call
919-989-5442
919-989-5371
After normal business hours, call 919-989-5000 and ask to speak with the on-call social worker.


Report Adult Abuse/Neglect

Monday through Friday 8 am through 5 pm (919) 989-5300.
After hours, weekends and holidays, please call 911 or (919) 989-5000.


Domestic Violence

Call 911 or (919) 989-5000.


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