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The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of human trafficking in Tennessee. The campaign is called “IT Has To Stop.” A new website features information, current research and statistics, video, important contacts, and links for visitors to join nonprofits and other groups in the efforts to curb trafficking in Tennessee. “Human trafficking is modern-day slavery, it’s unacceptable, and it’s a crime in Tennessee,” said TBI Director Mark Gwyn. “We hope TBI’s new public awareness campaign sheds some much-needed light on the issue, so we can increase the number of people who insist it has to stop in our state and beyond.” Researchers believe human trafficking is one of the fastest-growing criminal enterprises in the United States. The U.S. Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimate at least 100,000 children have been bought and sold in the country for the purpose of sexual exploitation. The average age of those young victims is 13.

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Thursday, we reconvened the Children’s Advisory Council, the group of community leaders, judicial leaders and public-child welfare experts with whom we regularly share department updates. The most important part of these events, though, is when we ask for their advice about how to handle issues facing the department. Thursday we briefed the group on the recent progress at the department, and we tested some ideas we have about improving the department’s safety and reliability. 

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Read this. It will remind you why we do what we do in public child welfare.

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Bonnie Beneke Arrives at DCS

From Diane Irwin in Training:

We are pleased to announce the addition of Bonnie Beneke to the Office of Learning and Development as a Training and Curriculum Director over CPS-related pre-service and in-service training. Ms. Beneke will oversee training related to CPS Assessment or other non-custodial work with the Dependent and Neglected population. She will oversee the delivery of CPS Specialty week for pre-service; manage the new Assessment Academy being provided through Vanderbilt; and develop new curricula on various clinical topics in which she has expertise. She will be a valuable resource for trainer development. As a licensed clinical social worker, her extensive clinical and training experience along with work on a statewide policy level uniquely equip her to make a significant contribution to the department. Please join us in celebrating and welcoming Bonnie Beneke, LCSW.”

Welcome indeed, Bonnie. She starts at DCS on Monday.

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Office of Child Safety staff attended the Death Scene Investigation conference hosted by the Forensic Institute for Research and Education (FIRE) at MTSU this week. There were many agencies in attendance providing an opportunity to network and learn more about conducting death investigations in Tennessee.

Office of Child Safety staff attended the Death Scene Investigation conference hosted by the Forensic Institute for Research and Education (FIRE) at MTSU this week. There were many agencies in attendance providing an opportunity to network and learn more about conducting death investigations in Tennessee.

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Hey, Central Office! 
You Can Help Make the 2014 Resource Parent Conference the Best Ever.
How?
Get together with your division co-workers and create a themed gift basket that will be included in the silent auction during the conference on Sept. 5 to 7.
So come on Adoption, Foster Care, JJ, Communications, Independent Living, CPS, Fiscal, Training, Legal, Post-Adoption, Provider Placement, Well-Being, HR, Commissioner’s Staff — Everybody!  
Why?
The Silent Auction raises money for TFACA Scholarships and benefits children in DCS custody and adoptive or birth children of TFACA members. (Each Region and local TFACA chapter is making baskets, too!)
How to Sign-up Contact Bridgit Black (615) 532-5242 or Bridgit.Black@tn.gov by August 22 to sign-up and learn more.
Which Division Will Create the Coolest Gift Basket?

Hey, Central Office! 

You Can Help Make the 2014 Resource Parent Conference the Best Ever.

How?

Get together with your division co-workers and create a themed gift basket that will be included in the silent auction during the conference on Sept. 5 to 7.

So come on Adoption, Foster Care, JJ, Communications, Independent Living, CPS, Fiscal, Training, Legal, Post-Adoption, Provider Placement, Well-Being, HR, Commissioner’s Staff — Everybody! 

Why?

The Silent Auction raises money for TFACA Scholarships and benefits children in DCS custody and adoptive or birth children of TFACA members. (Each Region and local TFACA chapter is making baskets, too!)

How to Sign-up
Contact Bridgit Black (615) 532-5242 or Bridgit.Black@tn.gov by August 22 to sign-up and learn more.

Which Division Will Create the Coolest Gift Basket?

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Many thanks to the Tennessee Highway Patrol for thinking of the children in DCS custody when it asked young campers in its first summer of camps to participate in a community service project, “Kids helping Kids,” and collect underclothing and hygiene items for the DCS foster care program. 
 

Many thanks to the Tennessee Highway Patrol for thinking of the children in DCS custody when it asked young campers in its first summer of camps to participate in a community service project, “Kids helping Kids,” and collect underclothing and hygiene items for the DCS foster care program. 

 

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Knox Region held a Provider Fair last week, attended by 45 community partners and more than 100 staff.
Knox recruited more partners for the Regional Community Advisory Board, In-Home Tennessee, and scheduled trainings with various providers for our staff and Resource Parents. 

The region extends a special thank you to the providers on behalf of the Community Advisory Board and Department. The collaboration, communication and participation was meaningful and our staff was impressed with the providers’ level of engagement in explaining services we can use to assist families and children.

Knox Region held a Provider Fair last week, attended by 45 community partners and more than 100 staff.

Knox recruited more partners for the Regional Community Advisory Board, In-Home Tennessee, and scheduled trainings with various providers for our staff and Resource Parents.

The region extends a special thank you to the providers on behalf of the Community Advisory Board and Department. The collaboration, communication and participation was meaningful and our staff was impressed with the providers’ level of engagement in explaining services we can use to assist families and children.

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This email, reprinted with permission, arrived in the inbox of Davidson’s Charity Kimbrell. It is always great to hear the successes of families with whom the staff has worked.
We celebrate Ms. Marable and cheer her hard work, wishing her all the good she and her family deserve.

“Hello Ms Kimbrell, This is Kimetha Marable at one time you were my case manager. I’m sending you this to let you know how we are doing. I just graduated from University of Phoenix with an associates in human service management. I am continuing on to get a bachelor’s in child and family services. My son Christopher is 4 years old, I will have 5 year’s clean and sober on August 26th. Keep in touch. Kimetha Marable”

This email, reprinted with permission, arrived in the inbox of Davidson’s Charity Kimbrell. It is always great to hear the successes of families with whom the staff has worked.

We celebrate Ms. Marable and cheer her hard work, wishing her all the good she and her family deserve.

“Hello Ms Kimbrell, This is Kimetha Marable at one time you were my case manager. I’m sending you this to let you know how we are doing. I just graduated from University of Phoenix with an associates in human service management. I am continuing on to get a bachelor’s in child and family services. My son Christopher is 4 years old, I will have 5 year’s clean and sober on August 26th. Keep in touch. Kimetha Marable”