Feb 2 2023
08:45 am

There are approximately 1.5 million children under the age of 18 in Tennessee. 9,000 of those children have no permanent home. 13.6% of people in Tennessee live in poverty.
From a News Channel 5 - Nashville report, from March, 2022, "DCS has 2,765 budgeted caseworker positions. At the end of January, 586 of those positions were unfilled."
"DCS admitted 57 case managers had more than 50 cases at the end of January despite a law that says they should not average more than 20."

The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services is seeking an immediate infusion of $26.6 million from the state legislature to address a crisis in care that has left kids sleeping on office floors and in hospital beds because there are no other places for them.

The Adoption Project announced its 2023 legislative priorities Monday. The organization recommends public policy changes that will help make Tennessee the "best state in the country" to build strong families through adoption and foster care.

Just an FYI, Former Governor and Mayor Bill Haslam and his wife are honorary chairs of the Adoption Project. The president/CEO and COO both worked for Haslam prior to starting the Adoption Project.

"Lawmakers introduced almost 20 bills targeting adoption and foster care on Monday."

Some of the bills:
SB531 "would change the way caseload caps per DCS caseworkers are calculated from an “average” to “actual” cap of 20 cases per case worker. "
Hah, if the law says there should be a copy of 20 and each caseworker is working on 50, then what difference does it make how it is worded?

SB532 "would require DCS to amend their mission statement to include “best interest of the child” as the department’s main goal. "
Wording again? No action.

SB537 "would increase the number of non-biological children a person can watch in their home without having to register as a childcare facility."
Not that it has anything to do with foster care, but increasing the number of daycare children without being a state registered facility is a good idea?

Senate Joint Resolution 129: "a resolution calls on the governor and state agencies to contemplate various issues and ideas to improve adoption and foster care in Tennessee."
Yeah, there needs to be contemplation.

Where do you think this is going to go? Maybe if DCS gets the $26.6 million something will happen to help the children in foster care.

Jun 28 2022
09:31 am

From WATE,

"According to the TN Department of Children’s Services 2020-2021 Annual Report, they provided residential childcare, including foster care, to 7,778 children."

According to "Dr. Walt Mauldin, Executive Director of Smoky Mountain Children’s Home in Sevierville", “right now there are 9,119 children and young people in state custody.”

Whether it is 7,000 to 9,000, how well is the State of Tennessee doing to take care of children in state custody? Children that are no longer able to live with their birth families.

"Smoky Mountain Children’s Home is a private faith-based foster care and adoption agency that has been in existence for over 100 years." “There are approximately a little over 100 [children] in our foster care program, [and] about 32 in our residential program.”

There are approximately 1.5 million children under the age of 18 in Tennessee. 9,000 of those children have no permanent home. 13.6% of people in Tennessee live in poverty. In Tennessee in 2019, there were nearly 90,000 pregnancies. Of those, nearly 6,000 were females aged 15-19. In 2019 there were just over 80,000 live births. Of those live births, 44% of the mothers were unmarried.

This should all be kept in mind when more births are required by the state. There will be more need and funding for healthcare, mental health care, low income support, and of course foster care.

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