Johnson City Press Tuesday, September 16, 2014
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Tennessee DCS back on track,' court monitors say

June 3rd, 2014 11:11 pm by Tony Gonzalez, The Tennessean

Tennessee DCS back on track,' court monitors say

Tennessee’s child welfare system rebounded under new leadership in the past year — although challenges remain — experts say in a new 505-page report.

New top leaders at the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services get credit for putting the state’s foster care system “back on track.” The praise appears in the annual report by a team of monitors put together under a federal court order.

Since a lawsuit in 2000, the state agency has had to reform how it protects vulnerable children — changes that ground almost to a halt in 2011 and 2012 before the improvements detailed in the new paper.

The court monitors work closely with DCS staff to prepare deep reports like the new one. These experts now say that DCS made improvements, including:

  • fixing problems with the agency’s huge computer system that had hindered caseworkers;
  • creating a new method of counting and examining child deaths;
  • recruiting more foster families; and,
  • investing in ways to help foster children who age out of the system.
  • Keep reading with our partners at The Tennessean.


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