New U.S. Waiver To Give DCS More Flexibility To Help Children

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services has been selected to participate in a groundbreaking demonstration project that promises to keep more kids safely in their homes, rather than having them come into foster care.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has chosen Tennessee, along with six other states, to take part in a waiver program that will give DCS added flexibility in using federal Title IV-E foster care dollars to serve children and families.

“The waiver represents a real opportunity for Tennessee as we continue to work to keep our kids safe, make them healthy and get them back on track,” said DCS Commissioner Jim Henry. “It also demonstrates that DCS is committed to finding innovative, effective solutions to help keep families together.”

Normally, federal Title IV-E funds can only be used for select activities, including out-of-home care for foster children.  Typically, these funds cannot be used to support in-home services to families at risk for child removal.  

The waiver will allow Tennessee to use Title IV-E funds for in-home services in an effort to keep children safely in their homes. The waiver does not provide new money to the state.  Rather, it lets the state use its federal dollars in ways that were not previously allowed, providing flexible funding of innovative child welfare programs.

The department anticipates it will begin full implementation of the five-year waiver in October 2014. By the end of the waiver, current projections show that Tennessee will have had available approximately $245 million in federal IV-E funds to spend for children and families.

Any savings associated with the success of the waiver demonstration project can then be reinvested into more high-quality services for children and families.

Services to these lower-risk families will include supports and services, such as assistance with food or utilities. It will also include in-home family services and intensive family preservation services.

Tennessee currently has approximately 7,300 children in foster care.

In addition to Tennessee, the other states selected this year for the demonstration project are Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, New York, Rhode Island, plus the District of Columbia. Last year, nine states received IV-E demonstration waivers: Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

 


Chambliss Center For Children Celebrates New Transitional Living Units

Chambliss Center for Children celebrated the completion of their new Transitional Living residences Tuesday with a ribbon cutting and community picnic.  Located across the street from Chambliss Center for Children’s main campus in Brainerd, the two duplexes, each with two one-bedroom units, are part of the agency’s new Transitional Living Program. The program is designed ... (click for more)

Allie Pierce Named Aesthetic Nurse At Plastic Surgery Group

The Plastic Surgery Group has named Allie Pierce as their aesthetic nurse. Ms. Pierce received her licensed practical ursing degree from Chattanooga State College and previously served as a nurse with the practice for more than two years.  She is a member of the International Society of Plastic and Aesthetic Nurses and the Society of Plastic Surgical Skin Care Specialists. ... (click for more)

Young Woman Suffers Serious Injuries In 30-Foot Fall At Quarry At Greenway Farms

A young woman was seriously injured on Wednesday night  when she fell approximately 30 feet from a bluff at the the Greenway Farms quarry in Hixson.   Some kayakers were paddling in the quarry shortly after  8 p.m. when they saw the woman fall to the ground below. They immediately went over to the victim and called 911. The Chattanooga Fire Department ... (click for more)

Walker County Taking Out Another Loan To Deal With Debts Left By Bebe Heiskell Administration

Walker County officials said they are having to take out another loan to deal with debts left by the Bebe Heiskell administration. Commissioner Shannon Whitfield has called a special meeting for Thursday at 2 p.m. at the commissioner's office in Lafayette. The agenda includes a $4 million tax anticipation note from Lafayette Bank, which stepped in to help the new administration ... (click for more)

CPS Should Have A Manned 24/7 Presence In Every County

This week something became abundantly clear to me. The Department of Child Protective Services in the state of Tennessee, or at least in Hamilton County, are asleep at the wheel.   Early yesterday afternoon local news stations broke the news: "Animals Removed from Soddy Daisy Home."  What the news station either didn't know, or didn't report, was that the children of ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Schizophrenia Calls Again

On Tuesday morning of this week a six-foot-tall, 6,000-pound monument of the “Ten Commandments” was installed on the Capitol Grounds in Little Rock, Ark. It was privately financed and quite beautiful. Less than 24 hours later, a vehicle crashed into the monument, knocking it off its base (plinth) in the early-morning darkness yesterday. The Arkansas Capitol Police arrested a ... (click for more)