News

New Report Details Numerous Problems in Tennessee’s Child Welfare System

TennesseeA report released last week by the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth (TCCY) calls for the state’s Department of Children’s Services (DCS) to step up its efforts in meeting the needs of young people with psychological and other health problems. The assessment, “Kids Count: The State of the Child in Tennessee,” finds that more than half of Tennessee’s foster care youth have mental illnesses, while approximately nine-out-of-10 youth in the state’s juvenile facilities are estimated to have mental health issues.

Earlier this year, a national Annie E. Casey Foundation report listed Tennessee as the 10th worst state for “food hardship” among children, with both Knoxville and Memphis ranked among the 25 worst metro areas for food insecurity.

According to the TCCY report, the combination of psychological and economic hardships, in conjunction with diminishing resources, has left the state’s DCS incapable of handling its current caseload.

Adding to the state’s difficulties, the report reads, is a lack of prenatal care in some of Tennessee’s rural counties, as well as general shortage of medical professionals in some of the state’s more remote communities. In all, about a quarter of the state’s children live below the poverty line, with the rate jumping up to 50 percent in some counties.

Per the report, more than a quarter of children removed by DCS in the 2011-2012 FY were taken due to “behavior problems,” while about one-fifth were removed due to either abandonment or “caregiver substance abuse.”

Roughly 8 percent were removed due to sexual abuse or caregiver incarceration, the TCCY state, while 18 percent were taken due to either neglect or physical abuse.

The report urges the state’s child welfare agencies to engage in a coordinated effort to address Tennessee’s multitudinous youth issues.

“The issues regarding severe child abuse cannot be adequately addressed by DCS, TCCY, child advocacy centers, law enforcement or any one organization or community agency or individual,” the report concludes. “All stakeholders must come together to address this societal problem in a coordinated and concentrated manner.”

 
 

 

Comments

Youth Today is the only independent, internationally distributed digital media publication that is read by thousands of professionals in the youth service field.

Youth Today adheres to high-quality journalistic standards, providing readers with professional news coverage dedicated to examining a wide spectrum of complex issues in the youth services industry from legislation to community-based youth work.

EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE

Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue.

DONORS & DONOR TRANSPARENCY

We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Donors may be quoted, mentioned or featured in our stories. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions…(read more)

Recent Comments

Categories

Archives

Kennesaw State University Mountain Logo & Ceneter for Sustainable Journalism Logo
LOGO Institute for Nonprofit News 3 turquoise boxes stacked in "J" shape

Copyright © 2018 Youth Today and MVP Themes --- Published by Center for Sustainable Journalism, Kennesaw State University, 1200 Chastain Blvd. Suite 310, Kennesaw GA 30144

To Top