State Departments Appeal to Retirees and Masters Program Students to Meet Potential Workforce Needs

Departments respond proactively to potential needs caused by COVID-19 Pandemic
Wednesday, March 25, 2020 | 12:54pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn.— The commissioners of Tennessee’s Departments of Children’s Services (DCS) and Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) are asking for individuals who are students who have earned or are pursuing a master’s degree or are retired from counseling, clinical therapy, social work, and related fields to consider joining the workforce in the event there are workforce needs caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The four state-operated psychiatric hospitals, known as Regional Mental Health Institutes, have immediate openings in many job classifications.  The RMHIs also have entry-level Psychiatric Technician and other positions available which could be a fit for workers displaced from food- service or hospitality jobs.  RMHI locations include Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, and Bolivar, Tennessee.

“We know this is an unprecedented situation, and Governor Lee has asked us all to be agile in our staffing practices to meet the needs of our state.  Tennessee has a wealth of professionals with both a head and a heart to help our state’s most vulnerable citizens,” said TDMHSAS Commissioner Marie Williams, LCSW. 

The Department of Children’s Services is building a register of retired DCS case managers or masters-level students who are interested in part-time employment working with children and families.  DCS is also currently hiring part time security officers and other support staff at Wilder Youth Development Center in west Tennessee.

”COVID-19 has caused the operations of many businesses and families to pause. It does not however, permit our department to do the same.  The needs of the children and families we serve will continue and we must be ready.  Having a pool of social work professionals who desire to serve during this crisis will help ensure Tennessee’s children are safe and thriving,” said DCS Commissioner Jennifer Nichols.