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Tennessee Department of Children’s Services Annual Report: State Fiscal Year July 2017 to June 2018


The Office of Juvenile Justice participated on the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Juvenile Justice Reform and worked with the Governor’s office to pass legislation to fulfill the recommendations. Additional ongoing improvements under this office include Juvenile Justice custody numbers continuing to decline, currently maintaining a 3 year low. • DCS has experienced a significant increase in child protective services referrals and children entering custody due to allegations of drug exposure. In response to this, we created specialized drug teams to investigate and provide on-going services for families with infants involved with substance abuse in select eastern counties. • Effective June 30, 2018, the Multi-Agency Collaboration’s Single Team Single Plan Model, designed to serve families with complex needs and typically at a high risk of coming into foster care, rolled out in at least one county in all twelve DCS regions. • Each year for the past two calendar years, the Department, in collaboration with its Tennessee Fosters partners, established a goal for new foster home approvals/certifications that if met, requires approval of 10% more homes each year than the number that closed in good standing the prior year. In calendar year 2017, the goal was exceeded by approximately 30%. During the first eight months of calendar year 2018, the Department has attained 87% of the goal (765 homes approved so far) and is well positioned to again significantly exceed it by the end of the year. • The Domestic Violence Co-Location Model is being implemented in Madison County to enhance services and advocacy for children and families experiencing domestic violence. The Department of Children’s Services, the Tennessee Office of Criminal Justice Programs, Domestic Violence Shelters, and Prevent Child Abuse Tennessee all worked together to increase the knowledge of the 7 impact of domestic violence and strengthen partnerships for a more coordinated response and approach to families. • After legislation was passed in July of 2017, the Department of Children’s Services, in collaboration with the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, established Safe Baby Courts in five (5) jurisdictions by January 2018 and will implement five additional jurisdictions by January 2019.