The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) has been awarded two grants totaling $6 million by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), a division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
The larger grant -- totaling $1 million per year for five years -- is a Regional Partnership Grant (RPG) that will allow the TDMHSAS to establish and implement the Therapeutic Intervention, Education, and Skills (TIES) program for children age 17 and younger who are either in or at risk of out-of-home placement due to parent/caretaker substance abuse.
The TIES program will create a collection of outreach, treatment, education, counseling, and supportive services for children and families affected by substance abuse and trauma. It will be operated in conjunction with the Seeking Safety curriculum for victims of trauma and the evidence-based Homebuilders model, which is an intensive, in-home crisis program that has already been used successfully around the nation to help keep children in their homes. Already, the TDMHSAS is training all of its funded providers of substance abuse treatment on the Seeking Safety curriculum.
The TIES program is expected to serve 500 ethnically and culturally diverse families in eight urban and rural Middle Tennessee counties (Bedford, Cannon, Coffee, Davidson, Marshall, Maury, Rutherford, and Warren) to help bridge a significant gap in locally available family treatment services. In 2011, parent/caretaker substance abuse issues were a primary factor in more than half of all out-of-home placements in these counties, with prescription drug abuse being considered an epidemic in most of them.
“We are very excited to have received this funding in the hopes of implementing the TIES program to help some of the youngest victims in the State of Tennessee affected by the scourge of substance abuse,” said TDMHSAS Commissioner E. Douglas Varney. “This will allow us to help keep these children in their homes while simultaneously helping their parents or caretakers overcome their substance abuse problems. After all, substance abuse treatment for parents is prevention for kids.”
The TDMHSAS was one of just 17 organizations to receive the RPG funding in what was described as an extremely competitive process. The grant is a partnership among TDMHSAS; the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (TDCS); Centerstone, the area’s primary behavioral health treatment provider; and the Centerstone Research Institute (CRI), a nonprofit research and evaluation organization.
The other grant -- totaling $500,000 per year for two years -- is an extension grant for the Building