Child Welfare and Community Services
F&CS operates multiple programs focused on Child Welfare and Community Services including: Connecting Forward, a connected social services network through which families can leave generational poverty; the Relative Caregiver Program, which provides emotional and practical supports for children and the non-parental relatives who care for them; Community Schools, which connects students and families to a broad range of services that remove barriers to success in school; Fostering Resilient Communities, which raises awareness of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the negative impacts of trauma; and Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, which recruits adoptive parents for older children and youth in foster care that have experienced numerous foster home placements, and those that have endured severe trauma.
Funded by a grant from the TN Department of Human Services, Connecting Forward is a network of 12 primary and 140+ secondary partners with the shared vision to create a comprehensive, connected social services network through which families can leave generational poverty; enter, re-enter, or advance in the workforce; and reduce, or preferably eliminate, dependence on TANF and other government supports. Connecting Forward serves clients in 28 Middle Tennessee counties.
The RCP program provides emotional and practical supports for children and the non-parental relatives who care for them. These relatives step in to care for children when their parents cannot, due to incarceration, substance use, abandonment, abuse, or other issues. The goal of the program is to keep these children with loving family members and out of state custody. F&CS operates RCP programs in 13 Middle Tennessee counties for the TN Department of Children’s Services.
Community Schools connect students and families to a broad range of services (such as basic needs assistance, social services, academic enrichment, social-emotional learning, and adult education) that remove barriers to success in school. An on-site Coordinator brings community partners together to provide support and opportunities for children, youth, families, and communities. F&CS administers the program for 34 Metro Nashville Public Schools.
Focusing on North Nashville, home to Family & Children’s Service main offices, the Resilient Communities Task Force raises awareness of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the negative impacts of trauma. The goal is to create a community that provides safe, stable, nurturing environments where children and families can thrive
WWK recruits adoptive parents for older children and youth in foster care that have experienced numerous foster home placements, and those that have endured severe trauma. The WWK recruiter also plays a key role in preparing the family and the child for the transition to permanency. F&CS’ WWK recruiters partner with the Department of Children’s Service offices in both Shelby and Davidson Counties.
F&CS clinical therapists provide individual and family counseling, case management, and educational activities for families at risk for or currently engaged with the child welfare system in Davidson County. All interventions are designed to help build life skills and coping strategies to ameliorate the adverse effects of trauma and empower children and families to live healthier, more productive lives.