More than twice as many Tennesseans say that the Department of Children’s Services is not doing a good job keeping children in the foster care system safe than say that DCS is doing a good job, but most say they are unsure or don’t know.
Thirty-five percent of Tennesseans say DCS is not doing good job of keeping children in the foster care system safe. Only 17 percent say DCS is doing a good job. A plurality of 48 percent say they are unsure how good of a job DCS is doing.
These figures are statistically the same as a year ago in the spring of 2013, the last time the MTSU Poll asked this question. Then 18 percent said DCS was doing a good job, 31 percent said DCS was not doing a good job, and 49 percent were unsure.
“There are at least a couple of possible explanations for the widespread uncertainty on this issue,” said Jason Reineke, associate director of the poll at Middle Tennessee State University. “Though there were prominent reports of failures to keep children safe about a year ago, measures have been taken so people may be waiting to see if those measures are effective before making up their minds. Or, of course, many people may simply not have heard enough about the issue to form opinions.”
Poll data were collected Jan. 23–26, via telephone interviews of 600 Tennessee adults conducted by Issues and Answers Network Inc. using balanced, random samples of Tennessee landline and cell phones. Results have an error margin of plus-or-minus 4 percentage points at the 95 percent level of confidence. The data were weighted to match the latest available Census estimates of gender and race proportions in Tennessee.