June 23, 2023

State offers resources for families in need

New Mexico has several state departments with programs available for families in need of support.

These departments include the Human Services Department, Department of Health and the recently established Early Childhood Education and Care Department.

HSD office has several programs that are mostly based on eligibility such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Centennial Care NM Medicaid program and Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

HSD helped over 1 million clients in May, according to the agency. 

There were 510,595,215 meals provided through SNAP between June 2022 and May 2023, according to the HSD departamental scorecard. SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, gives eligible New Mexicans financial assistance for grocery purchases.

Centennial Care, which provides healthcare through managed care organizations, served 964,828 in May. Benefits provided include physical health, behavioral health, long-term care and community benefits.

LIHEAP helped 25,712 households in the federal fiscal year 2023. LIHEAP helps eligible households with heating and cooling costs.

TANF helped 8,180 households in May 2023, according to HSD. TANF provides a monthly cash benefit on a temporary basis to qualifying families to help them pay for rent, utilities and clothing.

HSD offers other programs as well. For more information, visit the New Mexico Human Services Department website or call 1-800-283-4465.

NMDOH administers the Women, Infants and Children program.

WIC is a program that safeguards low-income pregnant, postpartum and nursing women, infants and children up to age 5.

“The New Mexico WIC Program provides free healthy foods, ideas for healthy eating and maintaining good health habits, support for nursing families, and connects families with other community services. This combination of services is designed to create a support system that encourages families to feel confident in their own ability to maintain happy and healthy futures,” according to the NMDOH website.

NMDOH also offers a Title X Family Planning Program that offers low or no-cost family planning clinical and other related health services plus community-based programs for teenagers including service learning and youth development.

One of these services is contraception methods including contraceptive implants such as intrauterine devices.

The Title X Family Planning Program is federally funded through Title X Public Health Service Act.

The Early Childhood Education and Care Department launched in July 2020 with the mission to “optimize the health, development, education, and well-being of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers through a family-driven, equitable, community-based system of high-quality prenatal and early childhood programs and services,” the ECECD website states.

The ECECD includes a Child Care Services Bureau that administers both the Child Care Assistance and the Child Care Oversight programs. The Child Care Assistance program helps qualifying parents and legal guardians with child care expenses and the Oversight program makes sure that child care centers and homes “provide a quality, safe and healthy environment for children,” the ECEDC website states.

Another program offered by the ECECD is Families FIRST which provides case management services to help clients get medical, social and educational services “necessary to foster positive pregnancy outcomes and promote healthy infants and children,” the ECECD website states.

Other programs include free Pre-K, home visiting, the Family Infant Toddler (FIT) program and the Family Nutrition Bureau.

ECECD also partners with the federal Early Head Start/Head Start programs through its Head Start State Collaboration Office.

For more information or to apply for services visit the ECECD website.