Children & Youth Services

Children deserve an equal opportunity to enjoy their childhood while learning to become responsible adults. Through our Children and Youth Programs, we deliver hope to our future generation.

We help parents find quality child care and provide financial assistance for children participating in our Child Care Certificate Program. We also provide other services including outreach to child care providers, eligibility determination, referrals, counseling and consumer education materials, issuing certificates, training, and monitoring unregulated providers.

Through the provision of educational, health, nutritional, social, and other services, we promote school readiness by improving the social and cognitive development of children enrolled in our Head Start Programs. Parent and community involvement is the hallmark of this program making it one of the most successful pre-school programs in the country.

The child and youth services offered by the Tennessee HRAs are listed below. Check back often for updates to this listing of services.

Head Start Early Head Start
Summer Food Program Intervention
TN Suicide Prevention Network Youth Training
Home Modification Respite Care
Court Appointed Special Advocates Neighborhood Stability
Foreclosure Prevention Juvenile Community Intervention Program
Foster Grandparent Program

Head Start

This child day care program for preschool aged Children (3-5 years of age) provides care and supervision of children outside the child's own home during some portion of a 24 hour day. The school's daily program includes social and intellectual activities to enhance the development of skills in preparation for entry into public schools and assist parents in learning to assume a more active role in identifying and meeting the needs of their children and family.

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Early Head Start

The Tennessee Early Head Start program for pregnant women, infants, and toddlers and the Tennessee Head Start program for children ages 3-5 help insure healthy prenatal outcomes for pregnant women and facilitates the development of infants, toddlers and young children. These Tennessee programs also assist parents to be the best possible parent they can be.

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Summer Food Program

The Summer Food Service Program provides administrative and operational payments to eligible agencies for serving meals to low income children. Eligible agencies included private nonprofit organizations, local governments, and state colleges and universities. All payments are based on annual rates established by the USDA.

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Tennessee’s Early Intervention System (TEIS) is the lead agency designated by the state Department of Education to oversee the Early Intervention system and programs within the state of Tennessee. TEIS serves as the initial point of entry in the EI system. TEIS is devoted to providing services to families of children with special needs in the most natural environments, at home and with children of all abilities.

TEIS personnel act as incoming Service Coordinators to assist families in receiving the rights, procedural safeguards, and services that are authorized to be provided under Part C of IDEA. Service Coordinators ensure that all services pertaining to the child’s needs are implemented as required. They work in collaboration with families and other service providers in order to assist the family in accessing needed services. The role of the service coordinator is essential to the development of the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). There are nine (9) district offices of TEIS in the state of Tennessee. There are 3 offices for each of the three main regions of the state – East, West, and Middle Tennessee.

Referrals are made to the TEIS offices and TEIS staff ensures that all pertinent information is gathered about the child and family and those children receive the appropriate evaluation and/or assessment procedures needed in order to determine eligibility. Once eligibility is established and the IFSP written or scheduled, TEIS staff refers the child to a direct service provider of the family’s choosing who can best implement the IFSP as required.

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Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network

The Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network (TSPN) is the statewide public-private organization responsible for implementing the Tennessee Strategy for Suicide Prevention as defined by the 2001 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. TSPN is a grass-roots association which includes counselors, mental health professionals, physicians, clergy, journalists, social workers, and law enforcement personnel, as well as survivors of suicide and suicide attempts. TSPN works across the state to eliminate the stigma of suicide and educate communities about the warning signs of suicide, with the ultimate intention of reducing suicide rates in the state of Tennessee. We seek to achieve these objectives through organizing and promoting regular regional activities, providing suicide prevention and crisis intervention training to community organizations, and conducting postvention sessions for schools and organizations after suicides occur. Suicide affects people of all ages, races, and socioeconomic groups. Hence we encourage and celebrate the engagement of people from all walks of life in our suicide prevention campaign, sharing their stories, making a difference in their communities, and helping to save lives.

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Youth Training

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Home Modification

The program provides safety equipment to assist consumers with personal care (grab bars in the bathroom, hand held showers, shower chairs, transferred benches, raised toilet seats are a few items that are provided), build ramps, extermination, handrails, door locks, doors, limited electrical and plumbing repairs, etc.

The purpose is to promote safety in the home and allow the consumer to remain independent. Give the consumer emotional well being and prevent premature institutionalization.

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Respite Care

Respite defined: respite is a period of rest or relief. Respite care provides the caregiver with time away from the routine and stress of caring for the physical, emotional or social needs of the person with Alzheimer's disease. Of great concern is that the caregiver remains healthy and able to continue with his/her care giving responsibility. You will have to ask, though, as no one will know that you need help if you do not make your needs known. Services include: help with personal care and grooming, activities or recreation, physical exercise, meals and snacks, day care, long term care and home health care.

Respite care varies in price. Some adult day care agencies have very affordable rates, whereas long term facilities could run over $3000 per month. At the present time, Medicare and Medicaid do not cover respite services. Some private insurances may; however, it's advised that you check with your administrator.

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Court Appointed Special Advocates

A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer is a trained citizen who is appointed by a judge to represent the best interest of a child in court. Children helped by CASA volunteers include those for whom home placement is being determined in the courts. Most of the children are victims of abuse and/or neglect. A CASA volunteer provides a judge with a carefully researched background investigation of the child and their circumstances to help the court make a sound decision about the child’s future. Each home placement case is as unique as the child involved. The CASA volunteer must determine if it is in the child’s best interest to stay with his/her parents or guardians, be placed in foster care or be freed for permanent adoption. The CASA volunteer then monitors the case until it is permanently resolved.

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Neighborhood Stability

Through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), Southwest HRA was granted funds to purchase foreclosed properties that might otherwise become sources of abandonment and blight within our communities. The properties will be rehabilitated and sold to Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) eligible buyers at a reduced rate. Households must obtain permanent financing through the THDA Great Rate Mortgage, a USDA Rural Development Direct Loan, a Habitat for Humanity 0% mortgage loan or other non-profit sponsored first mortgage loan with prior approval of THDA. The household income must be at or below 120% of the area median income as defined by the Section 8 Rental Assistance Program. Southwest HRA operates the NSP program in Decatur, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, and McNairy Counties.

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Foreclosure Prevention

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Juvenile Community Intervention Program

This program provides juvenile offenders an opportunity to repay the community for their crime and provides the court with an intensive juvenile probation services at no cost. Specialized counseling for juvenile and parents is provided, as well as random home visits, drug screens and community service.

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Foster Grandparent Program

The Foster Grandparent Program provides volunteer opportunities for people aged 60 and older from all economic, educational, and social backgrounds to serve children and teenagers who have special needs as well as their families. Foster Grandparents help young people increase their self-confidence and achieve personal independence so that they can learn to overcome their problems and become productive members of society. Foster Grandparents volunteer an average of 1,040 hours every year (15 to 40 hours weekly) through local community non-profit agencies in both community-based and in-home settings. Volunteers who meet certain income guidelines receive a small, non-taxable stipend, which enables those living on limited incomes to be served at no cost to themselves. Assistance with the cost of transportation, a daily meal, an annual physical exam, and on-duty accident and liability insurance are also provided to all volunteers.

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TAHRA Human Resource Services