Tennessee was one of eight states competitively selected to participate in the Three Branch Institute to Improve Child Safety and Prevent Child Fatalities, a project of the National Governor’s Association’s Center for Best Practices, the National Conference of State Legislatures, Casey Family Programs, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the National Center for State Courts.
The selection committee remarked that Tennessee demonstrated Governor Haslam’s priority and commitment to move toward a more comprehensive, systematic, cross-branch approach to improving the safety of children in the child welfare system, or at risk of child welfare involvement.
The event, held in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., July 20-22, included sessions such as “Safety and Assessment and Identifying the At-Risk Population,” and “Parental Substance Abuse and the Opioid Epidemic’s Impact on Child Welfare." Participants learned some sobering details, such as how as many as eight children a day die from abuse and neglect, and 75 percent of deaths occur in those under the age of three.
Attendees from Tennessee included:
- Amy Coble, Director of Investigations, Child Safety Staff, Department of Children’s Services
- Michael Cull Deputy Commissioner, Child Health at Department of Children’s Services
- Representative John DeBerry, Jr., (D-Memphis)
- Senator Ferrell Haile (R- Gallatin).
- Deborah Taylor Tate, Director, Administrative Office of the Courts