Governor Bill Lee called on the faith community to support Tennessee foster kids in finding permanent homes through a new public-private initiative, TN Fosters Hope.
Led by the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, TN Fosters Hope creates a partnership between the Tennessee Department of Children’s Servicesand two leading private partners, Tennessee Kids Belong and Show Hope.
“When we join forces with the faith community and trusted partners like Tennessee Kids Belong and Show Hope, we can help Tennessee foster kids find permanent, loving homes,” said Gov. Lee. “I am calling on the faith community to join us as we work to build one of the most adoption-friendly states in the country.”
TN Fosters Hope includes the following areas of focus:
- Establishing a network of churches statewide to support the foster and adoptive needs of their communities
- Recruiting and certifying families who can care for foster children with increased needs
- Building pathways for full DCS custody children to find permanent adoption
To further support foster children, Gov Lee. has also proposed a TennCare coverage extension for adopted youth that will allow them to retain their TennCare eligibility until age 18 regardless of federal or state adoption assistance eligibility. This includes retaining existing physical, mental and behavioral health services.
“On behalf of the nearly 8,800 children in our care, I thank Gov. Lee and all of our Tennessee Fosters Hope partners for their commitment to improving the lives of children and families in our state. The Department of Children’s Services cannot do this work alone. We must have foster parents, providers, houses of worship, community organizations, lawmakers, and citizens step up to provide homes, support and wrap around services that will lead to permanency. Working together through TN Fosters Hope, we will be able to fulfill Gov. Lee’s vision of making Tennessee a national leader in foster care and adoption services,” said Jennifer Nichols, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.
Get involved at: https://tnfostershope.tn.gov/