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.

 


Chattanooga Heroes Run/Walk Scheduled For July 16

Last  July 16 , Chattanooga was changed forever following the tragic shootings at the Armed Services Recruiting Center on Lee Highway and the U.S. Naval Operational Support Center and Marine Corps Reserve Center on Amnicola Highway.   One year later , thousands of supporters will participate in the Chattanooga Heroes Run/Walk to honor and remember those ... (click for more)

Morning Pointe Residents 'Pay it Forward' At Steak N' Shake

Residents at Morning Pointe of Chattanooga at Shallowford think they have an interesting and kind way to have fun - paying for strangers' orders at the Steak N' Shake on Gunbarrel Road during Half Price Happy Hour.  The assisted living residents say they find enjoyment going through the drive-thru in the Morning Pointe bus and buying their favorite milkshakes, while paying ... (click for more)

CBL & Associates Stockholder Accuses Chattanooga-Based Mall Owner Of Security Fraud; CBL Denies Any Wrongdoing

A stockholder of CBL & Associates is suing the Chattanooga-based mall owner in Chattanooga Federal Court, claiming its officials artificially inflated the value of the company's stock. Tommy French, of Baton Rouge, La., brought the action against CBL, President Stephen Lebovitz and Vice President Farzana Mitchell. He claims that CBL officials made false and misleading ... (click for more)

Carmody Found Guilty Of First-Degree Felony Murder; Sentenced To Life In Prison

Patrick Carmody was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of first-degree felony murder and especially aggravated robbery in Judge Barry Steelman’s courtroom on Friday. He was charged with the slaying of 21-year-old Chance LeCroy on Sept. 9, 2010. The state’s account of the incident claimed that Carmody, Ronald Pittman, and Billy Bob Partin traveled ... (click for more)

Case Handled Like Any Other? - And Response

It is interesting that Chief Fletcher would deem the handling of the Mayor's encounter as typical or normal. Is the Chief asking the public to believe that all misdemeanor domestic violence arrests include a 4-hour taped interrogation, and delayed reporting after a visit to the Chief’s house. Of course, we believe that Chief Fletcher. April Eidson * * *  I ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Best Speech This Year

Just 24 hours after Donovan Livingston gave The Student’s Speech at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education convocation on Wednesday, it had been viewed over 3 million times and shared 75,000 times on Facebook. It is already considered, far and away, as the freshest view on race and education in ages and its viral journey is burning across the Internet. His talk was ... (click for more)