Tennessee Implementation Project

The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS) is implementing In Home Tennessee, an initiative to strengthen in-home services through the development of an effective array of services and the engagement of children, youth, families, and community in service planning and service delivery processes to achieve safety, permanence, and well-being.

The desired outcomes were to improve the quality of casework services by engaging families, to

  • connect with stakeholders in designing and delivering individualized services to meet families’ needs,

  • enhance families’ capacities to keep children safe, and

  • build organizational capacity to implement system change to meet the needs of families.

DCS and its initiative partners have developed a model of practice focused on family engagement and tailored to the specific needs of the in-home service population. A training plan and curriculum have been designed to enhance the awareness, skills and abilities needed to implement the practice model throughout the state. This training, along with specific transfer of learning sessions, is currently being delivered in four regions. In addition, team leaders, team coordinators, and supervisors in those four regions have been trained in coaching skills.  To support establishing a coaching culture in Tennessee, all regional administrators, along with key central office administrators have received coaching skill training.  Each of those participants were also provided the opportunity to be coached by ACCWIC for a period of ninety days.

A service array process to enhance stakeholder engagement, and assess the availability, accessibility and quality of core in-home services in the community has been implemented in seven regions.  Each of these regions has developed a resource and capacity development plan as a result of their service array assessments.  These plans are intended to address gaps in services that were identified on a regional level.  

To date, regions have accomplished many goals including

  • the development of several therapeutic visitation programs,

  • partnerships with federal grants to enhance services to absent parents and pregnant and parenting teens, and

  • enhanced domestic violence assessment training.