What Services Are Provided by the Tennessee Department of Children's Services?


Quick Answer

The Tennessee Department of Children's Services offers adoption assistance for hopeful parents-to-be, help for aspiring foster parents, and resources to report cases of child abuse, abandonment and neglect. The agency also provides protective services for endangered children and emergency placement when immediate removal of at-risk children is needed.

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Full Answer

The state-supported Tennessee DCS is divided by county within Tennessee and serves eligible residents with both directly administered and locally contracted social programs. Adoption services help to arrange legally binding placement of a permanent nature for children lacking able or willing birth parents. Services also assist children from other countries, stepchildren, and adults in need of suitable placement.

Counseling and legal help are also available, as well as foster care programs to aid available children awaiting a permanent adoptive situation. The department also offers specialized foster care assistance for special needs children with physical and mental disabilities.

The agency examines reported child abuse cases and investigates allegations of abandonment and neglect, arranging for emergency placement when removal from the home is necessary to maintain child safety. The department also works with families struggling to resolve and overcome abuse-related problems, providing counseling geared towards preserving the family structure and establishing a safe, secure future. DCS professionals also track newly placed children and provide continual follow-up support to verify the child's health and welfare is being maintained.

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