According to sources, Tennessee has yet to recognize or implement strategies of the federal Family First Act which would save taxpayers money and reduce the trauma of family separation.
As we have reported before, the state’s Department of Children’s Services (DCS) continues to ask for more money every year even as the number of children in state custody decreases.
Before the agency dives once more into the pockets of Tennessee taxpayers, conservatives say we need to ask some questions:
- Is DCS promoting family stabilization with in-home services?
- Is DCS encouraging the working with kinship placements to minimize family separation and rehoming children?
- How long are children separated from parents who are rehabilitating?
- Why have the operational expenses continued to rise, while the statistics of children in need of DCS intervention have decreased?
The reason these questions are important is because of the 2018 Family First Preservation and Services Act which requires the states to provide 12-months of in-home services for non-emergency family support needs. The law also provides a new funding apparatus for kinship care which allows children to go to a family member instead of into foster care.