The Family Connection Program evolved from the first system of care site in TN, the Nashville Connection, as a continuation of a strengths based, family driven program to support children, youth and families struggling to navigate complicated systems and access services.
In the Family Connection program, a team of a Family Support Provider (FSP) and Behavioral Specialist (BS) work with both youth and parents to identify strengths and needs, connect with services, and build necessary skills to maintain the youth at home, in school, and in the community.
The FSP provides support and advocacy, models how to build collaborative relationships with providers, assists in navigating systems and connecting with necessary services, facilitates the development of the Child and Family Team and provides care coordination.
The BS provides therapeutic skill building with both the youth and caregivers, assists with crisis and behavioral planning at home and school, provides behavioral support to the family on a 24/7 basis, and actively participates in the Child and Family Team.
Children who are eligible for the Family Connection Program include:
- children ages 3 – 18 in selected counties/DCS regions;
- children diagnosed with a major mental illness OR children with severe behavioral difficulties at home, school, and/or in the community;
- children that can be transitioned to a less intensive placement, local family member’s home or foster home; or
- children with imminent possibility of reunification, adoption or other permanency with the provision of this service.
Family Connection Program staff provide participation, as requested, in contract utilization reviews conducted by DCS to assist in determining specific children to be served by this grant.
Family Connection Program staff ensure that parents and family members are an integral part of the service system at all levels. Families will receive needed supports on all levels, parenting skills training, 24-hour behavioral crisis assistance, intensive, in-home therapeutic skill-building with the family, in school support, and other needed services.