Family Support Specialist Coalition

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Family Support Specialists draw on their lived experience to serve and support children and families facing challenges associated with emotional, behavioral, or mental health needs. The Coalition celebrates the power of peer support, focuses on the needs of family support specialists, provides support, training, job opportunities and provides an arena for your collective voice.

The Family Support Specialist Coalition, led by Tennessee Voices for Children with support from the Healing Trust, is a coalition to promote statewide connection and resources sharing among Family Support Specialists.

With Hope In Mind

DATE:  January 18, 2018

LOCATION:  Mt. Juliet, Wilson County

Contact:  Don at 615-417-1683

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)

January 11-12, 2018, 8:30 am- 5:00pm

Skyline Madison Medical Office Building
510 Hospital Drive, 4th Floor  Madison, TN 37115

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is for adults who want to be able to provide suicide first aid. Shown by major studies to significantly reduce suicidality, the ASIST model teaches effective intervention skills while helping to build suicide prevention networks in the community.

For more information or to register, click here.

Your Heart on Art Workshop

DATE: January 20,2018

Register online at

Family Support Specialist Competency Course 

January 24-26, 2018

Memphis, TN

“The Opposite of Suicide:  What can be done to help our youth?”

DATE: January 26, 2018, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

William O. Beach Civic Hall
350 Pageant Lane
Clarksville, TN 

safeTalk: Suicide Alertness for Everyone

February 2, 2018
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

TSPN Office
446 Metroplex Drive
Nashville, TN 37211

For more information or to register, click here.

Promise and Peril: Tech Ethics

February 2, 2018
8:00 AM – 12:15 PM

Boling University Center
2nd Floor Ballroom
UT Martin

Contact Information: Dana Cobb, NW Council Regional  or 731-571-7271

Saving Lives in South Central Tennessee

February 23, 2018
8:30 AM – 3:00 PM

Maury County Health Department
1909 Hampshire Pike
Columbia, TN 38401

For more information or to register, click here.

With Hope In Mind

DATE:  March 10, 2018

LOCATION:  Cookeville, Putnam County

Contact:  Lena at 931-265-1683

Family Support Specialist Competency Course 

March 20-22, 2018

Knoxville, TN

Your Heart on Art Workshop

DATE: March 24, 2018

Register online at

2018 Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network Spring Symposium

Wed, April 11, 2018
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Trevecca Community Church
335 Murfreesboro Pike
Nashville, TN 37210

For more information or to register, click here.

Family Support Specialist Competency Course

Family Support Specialist Coalition Meeting

We will celebrate the power of peer support, identify group needs, set goals, and, most importantly, hear your voice. Lunch will be provided.  Please RSVP to Kathy Rogers.

Thursday, January 18, 2018
11:30 am- 1:30 pm

The University of Tennessee, College of Social Work
193 Polk Avenue, Suite E, Room 233
Nashville, TN 37210

Kathy Rogers

Friday, January 19, 2018
11:30 am- 1:30 pm

Urban Child Institute, 1st Floor Conference Room
600 Jefferson Avenue
Memphis, TN 38105

Kathy Rogers

OPEN POSITION:  Family Voices of Tennessee Regional Organizer

Immediate Supervisor: Director, Family Voices of Tennessee (FVTN)

Status: Part-Time, 20 hours per week

Salary:  $18.00 per hour 

Position Summary:

The Tennessee Disability Coalition/FVTN is seeking qualified applicants for part-time positions as a Regional Organizer in West, Middle, and East Tennessee. These individuals will work under the direction of the FVTN Director to assist in strengthening consumer input into Tennessee’s evolving Employment and Community First (ECF) CHOICES program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Regional Organizers will work under the director of the FVTN Director.

Minimum qualifications: The applicant must be an individual or family member with lived experience with disability; have a working knowledge through training and/or experience of service systems for people with disabilities; strong organizing skills; ability to interact effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultural traditions; effective written and oral communications; proficiency with computer software and databases; able to travel.

Location: West Tennessee, Middle Tennessee, and East Tennessee

Principle Duties:

Under the direction of the FVTN Director:

  • conduct outreach activities to consumers serving on Managed Care Organization (MCO) and TennCare Advisory Councils, both individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and family members
  • develop expertise in the training curriculum on advisory council engagement for use with consumer leaders currently serving on Managed Care Organization (MCO) and TennCare Advisory Councils
  • provide training to consumer advisory council members
  • support consumer advisory council members at meetings and as they engage with providers, MCO, and state personnel 
  • participate in an informal virtual network of consumers enrolling in the ECF CHOICES Program 
  • attend and participate in state and regional meetings about the ECF Program
  • assist in coordinating with other consumer stakeholders
  • collect and organize data from virtual consumer networks and MCO community forums
  • assist in organizing and conducting listening sessions regionally for consumers of the ECF CHOICES Program
  • collect and compile data from the listening sessions
  • assist in developing additional program training materials (e.g., train-the-trainer materials) and conduct training
  • connect consumers to training and organizing efforts
  • identify, develop and support consumer leaders who can serve on boards, councils, advisory groups and committees within the healthcare arena 
  • other duties as assigned

The Tennessee Disability Coalition is committed to providing equal opportunity and equal access. No person will be discriminated against because of race, religion, creed, color, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran status, disability, or Limited English Proficiency. In alignment with those principals, the TDC requires that each employee adhere to the same standard of non-discrimination. Each staff member is required to have a signed Non-Discrimination Policy statement on file. To learn more about the Coalition, visit our website,

Contact Information and Procedure:  A cover letter and resume must be submitted via email to: or faxed to 615-383-1176.

OPEN POSITION:  Affirm Respite Coordinator

Full-time position in the AFFIRM Respite Program at Cumberland Mental Health Services’ Gallatin Office.  This position performs administrative functions and supervises respite staff.  May also provide direct respite service to families of seriously emotionally disturbed children, requiring some evening and weekend work.
The Respite Coordinator coordinates the respite service, recruits and trains respite providers and implements the respite model with families.  Also responsible for community public relations and respite awareness, and recruitment and training of staff.  Training will be provided.

Qualifications:  A Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, Psychology, or related field is required, with some prior supervisory experience.   Knowledge of behavior modification, family dynamics, child development and emotional disturbances in children is preferred. 

Interested candidates may contact Cheri Holzbacher at or (423) 602-6342 (cell).

OPEN POSITION:  Affirm Respite Consultant

Immediate opening a part-time (20 hrs. per week) Respite Consultants in the AFFIRM Respite Program located at Cumberland Mental Health, Gallatin TN.  These positions provide direct planned respite to families of seriously emotionally disturbed children and may require some evening and weekend work.

The Respite Consultant coordinates the respite service, recruits and trains respite providers and implements the respite model with families.  Also must be able to liaison with other agencies and professionals in the community.  Training will be provided.

Interested candidates may contact Cheri Holzbacher at or (423) 602-6342 (cell).

OPEN POSITION:  Technical Assistance Coordinator 

Job Description

Employing Agency: Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Office of Children and Youth Mental Health

Title of position: Technical Assistance Coordinator (Administrative Services Assistant 3)

Salary range: $2,769-$4,431 monthly

Hours: 37.5 per week (full-time, interim)

Schedule: M-F, Days.  Some evening or weekend hours may be required.  Some amount of travel locally, regionally, and statewide is anticipated for this job.

Job Location: Nashville, TN

Position Summary:  The Technical Assistance Coordinator (TAC) is responsible for the day-to-day administrative functions of the Technical Assistance Center.  The TAC will act as a liaison between TDMHSAS, Office of Children & Youth Mental Health, and contracted agencies for training services and will facilitate the logistical process. 

Description of duties and responsibilities: 

  • Responsible for coordinating all administrative functions and logistics of Technical Assistance Center (e.g. meeting coordination, training logistics, grants management, identifying subject matter experts, scheduling trainings, etc.)
  • Conducts research to stay informed of current developments, best practice, new research, reports and trends regarding mental health related issues for young children, children, youth, young adults, and families to include, but not limited to, the following areas: clinical, family-driven and youth-guided, cultural and linguistic competence, community resources, fiscal, economic, non-technical legal, legislative, and publications
  • Assists in ensuring the accuracy and relevance of content for office website, System of Care Across Tennessee (SOCAT) website, and social marketing training, including but not limited to webinars, research materials, events, and community resources
  • Maintain resources and update office website and SOCAT website with new resources
  • Assist in development of web-based trainings and materials, including training guides, tools, and reference materials
  • Performs a variety of general staff administrative duties to support program operations (e.g. meeting minutes, scheduling trainings, facilitating conference calls, preparing and reviewing records and reports, etc.)
  • Assists in developing policies and procedures for implementing new or modifying existing administrative services programs and activities
  • Utilizes appropriate computer programs to accomplish administrative activities (e.g. Excel)
  • Provides support to SOCAT sites and to staff within the Office of Children & Youth Mental Health as needed
  • Commitment to system of care principles and to working effectively as a part of a team
  • Assists in locating and/or providing training as appropriate
  • Attends classes, trainings, and conferences approved and/or required by TDMHSAS that will enhance job skills (e.g. Cultural and Linguistic Competence, etc.)
  • Other duties as assigned

Qualifications for position: 

  • Education/Experience: Graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor’s degree and experience equivalent to three years of increasingly responsible full-time professional staff administrative experience
  • Substitution of Experience for Education: Qualifying full-time increasingly responsible sub professional, paraprofessional, or professional experience may be substituted for the required education, on a year-for-year basis, to a maximum of four years.
  • Substitution of Education for Experience: Additional graduate coursework in public administration or other acceptable field may be substituted for the required experience, on a year-for-year basis, to a maximum of two years; OR two years of increasingly responsible administration services experiences with the State of Tennessee.

Supervised by: Training and Technical Assistance Center staff

For more information, contact:

Jessica Mullins

Phone: 615-253-4545


OPEN POSITION:  Regional Intervention Program Director

Click here for more information about this position.  Please submit all resumes or inquiries to

OPEN POSITION: Family Support Specialist Position, FITT (Family Intervention Treatment Team), Life Care Family Services

The FITT Program is an in-home diversion program with wrap-around type services for kids and their families when a child has expressed suicidal or self-harm thoughts and/or behaviors. Or, they are at risk for out of home placement due to severe behaviors. The FSS works in tandem with the therapist. The therapist is in the home 5 times a week in the first 2 weeks, then 3-4 times a week throughout the duration of the services with individual and family sessions. The FSS is in the home 2 times a week (two of their visits a month are with the therapist for family sessions). The FSS role is two-fold-a peer support for the caregiver to have someone who has been through raising a child with special needs/mental health challenges; and, to teach, mentor, and role model different skills like parenting, discipline, conflict resolution, or communication skills, etc. They also help find resources for families such as summer programs, mentor services, housing info, etc.

This FSS full time hourly position will have a caseload of 6-8. Services are provided by the program in 7 different counties. Generally a FSS will see families in a 3-4 county area to reduce travel and be more efficient. A Bachelor’s degree is preferred but with commensurate experience a high school diploma is considered. The FSS will take direction from the therapist and participate with the team.

Contact: Donna Humbert, LCSW, Lifecare Family Services, FITT Program Director @ or by phone (615) 295-1465 to learn about the position and expanding program.

OPEN POSITION: Nurturing Parenting Facilitator (Part- time)

Title:                                        Nurturing Parenting Facilitator

Program:                                Child Abuse Prevention Services

Location:                              Upper Cumberland, TN


Minimum of high school diploma or equivalent – bachelor degree preferred. Family member or caregiver of child with emotional, behavioral, or mental health disorder. Personal experience with children’s emotional and behavioral health issues and in navigating child-serving systems. Non-profit organization experience and work history within child serving systems preferred.  Early childhood experience preferred.

Click here to apply.

Unsung Hero Nomination 2018

Nominations for Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Early Foundations

Click here for more information.

System of Care Across Tennessee (SOCAT)

SOCAT Information Sheet

SOCAT Referral Form

Intensive In-home Therapeutic Services

The Life Care Family Service  FITT Program @ 4709 Papermill Road, Suite 202, Knoxville, TN has immediate openings for any United Health Care covered youths needing very intensive in-home therapeutic services in Knoxville and surrounding counties! Contact Jibby Redfield, LCSW, SAP, cell: 865.789.7702, email:

Call for Referrals of  0-5 Year Olds with Trauma and Attachment Concerns

Clinicians at the COE are now able to provide Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) to a limited number of families. CPP is a trauma-focused, evidenced-based treatment for children ages 0 to 5. It addresses the behavioral signs of trauma in young children like excessive crying and fearfulness, aggression, sleep problems, difficulties focusing, separation anxiety, and developmental delays. The child and their caregiver receive this therapy together, since a major goal of CPP is to build a safe and nurturing attachment relationship. If you know a family that might benefit from this treatment, please contact the COE at 615-322-8701 to discuss a referral.

Planned Respite Program

The Planned Respite Program (PRP) provides respite services to families of children identified as having a serious emotionally disturbance (SED) or dually-diagnosed with a SED and Autism, who are two through fifteen (2-15) years of age.  Respite consultants provide short-term respite, and work with the family to identify long-range respite resources.  An Individualized Family Respite Plan (IFRP) is developed with the family.  The IFRP may include short-term direct respite care by staff, identification of possible respite resources, and determination of child learning characteristics and behavior patterns that interfere with the family’s ability to secure respite.  The respite consultant will assist and enable the family to identify and develop community based respite resources, and will work with families to help them utilize these respite resources in the most effective manner.

Planned Respite sites are in: Memphis, Jackson, Smyrna, Gallatin, Chattanooga, Oak Ridge, and Johnson City.

For additional information and contact information:

Alliance Healthcare Services –

  • Memphis

Quinco Mental Health –

  • Jackson

Volunteer Behavioral Health Care System –

  • Smyrna
  • Gallatin
  • Chattanooga

Ridgeview Behavioral Health Services –

  • Oak Ridge

Frontier Health –

  • Johnson City
Sesame Street in Communities

Sesame Street in Communities is an excellent online resource of information and tools for a myriad of developmental stages and topics related to mental health and healthy childhood development for both parents and practitioners.
Sesame Street in Communities.

Video for the Month

Below is a video about gratefulness from
A Grateful Day with Brother David Steindl-Rast

Below are some resources on how to discuss recent tragedies with children and youth.

Psychological Impact of the Recent Shooting 

Addressing disasters:
Pre school age
School aged