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.

 


Blood Assurance Announces August's Giveaway Winner

Blood Assurance, the regional blood center, announced that the winner of its promotional giveaway for August was Adam Ward of Hixson. Adam won a Windows Surface Tablet.   Blood Assurance is a non-profit blood center that serves 47 counties in a 5 state region, and is the provider of blood and blood components for 70 healthcare facilities. Over 440 blood donors are needed ... (click for more)

ClearRiver Health Enters Medicare Advantage Market In Hamilton County

ClearRiver Health, a new, locally based, not-for-profit health plan for Medicare beneficiaries with an emphasis on the physician-patient relationship, access and personal customer service,  will enter the Medicare Advantage market in Hamilton County beginning today.  Founded by Prominence Health, a subsidiary of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), ClearRiver Health offers ... (click for more)

Teen, 17, Charged With Aggravated Rape In Attack On 69-Year-Old North Chattanooga Runner

A 17-year-old has been charged with aggravated rape in connection with an attack on a 69-year-old runner in North Chattanooga on Monday morning. Since the person charged is a juvenile, the only information given was that he is a black male. The incident happened at approximately 7:30 a.m. on Mississippi Avenue. P olice initially said the suspect was described as ... (click for more)

Berke Implements New Pay Plan For Chattanooga Fire Department

Mayor Andy Berke joined the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and leadership of the Chattanooga Fire Department to unveil the Department’s new pay plan Wednesday afternoon. At a press conference at Fire Hall #1 on Main Street, Mayor Berke and IAFF Local 820 President Jack Thompson signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which sets forth regular raises for ... (click for more)

Keep John Roberts, Commissioner Of Red Bank

It has been a week since the Red Bank Neighborhood Pride Association held their candidate forum at Red Bank Middle School. I was privileged to have been asked to moderate the affair. What follows is my interpretation of the current issues facing the citizens of Red Bank and, at the end, a summation of whom I feel should be elected and whom I will be voting for personally. First, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My October Garden

Hark! It is the first day of October and, as I make my monthly stroll through the garden, I find a growing numbers of leaves and acorns. Autumn leaves are beautiful while acorns are nuts, thus you will get the idea as we make our monthly awards: A PRETTY LEAF to Phil Hughes after the Minnesota Twins pitcher came within one inning of earning a $500,000 bonus this season. The deal ... (click for more)