December 2021 Open Line

Character Volunteers Mid Cumberland Christmas

Mid Cumberland Christmas Party

Dec. 22, 2021

Another year of happy celebrations was had by the foster families of Cheatham, Rutherford, Williamson and Wilson counties.  Thanks to the generous sponsorship and host of Stars & Strike Entertainment Center, DCS families enjoyed a wonderful day of holiday cheer. 

We are especially grateful to all the community donors and vendors worked in conjunction with the Williamson County Foster Parent Association and Rutherford County Foster Parent Association to make this year a wonderful, fun success for our children and youth. 

The children had a glorious time bowling, playing games, meeting Santa and getting tons of gifts and surprises. 

THANK YOU to the DCS staff for your tireless dedication to making this event a success for our children and families.


- Dana Eskridge



Wellness Breaks for Your Workday   

January is jam packed with opportunities to work on your wellness. Here's what's coming up the week of 1/03-1/07: 

Wednesdays 12-12:15 PM Central – Live Yoga for All 

Thursdays from 11-11:15 AM Central – Fitness Breaks with DCS 

Fridays from 12:15-12:45 PM Central - Live Yoga: Core&More 

Like to look ahead? Grab a complete calendar of all our January events HERE.  


S.M.A.R.T. Goal Challenge_2022_final

It’s a fresh new calendar year and you likely have some goals you’d like to achieve. Sadly, only about 8% of us achieve will achieve our new year’s resolution so here’s a chance to stick with your intentions – join the S.M.A.R.T. Goal Challenge! 
The S.M.A.R.T. Goal Challenge allows you to create a personalized health-related goal to work on daily and track your progress with that goal over the course of 4 weeks. There is a “S.M.A.R.T. Goal Setting Worksheet” to help you come up with a realistic and achievable goal for yourself, as well as a “Daily S.M.A.R.T. Goal Tracker” to keep you accountable with your goal every day. 
If you’re up for the S.M.A.R.T. Goal Challenge happening Sunday, Jan. 9 through Saturday, Feb. 5 please sign-up for the challenge communications HERE by Friday, Jan. 7 at Noon Central Time. (Note: You do not have to sign-up for these communications to participate in this challenge, and you can find your SMART Goal Challenge Workbook HERE.) 
🏆 WFHTN will award a wellness prize to 10 random participants! 
Hope to *see* you in the S.M.A.R.T. Goal Challenge! -- Your DCS Wellness Council    

December 2021 Employees of the Month

  • Juvenile Justice: Tamara Bonds
  • Knox: Sherrie Weaver
  • Northeast: Kendra McKinney
  • Office of Child Safety: Tara Torbett
  • Smoky Mountain: Kayla Parker
  • Southwest: Marilyn Roberts
  • Tennessee Valley: Joseph Lagstaff
  • Upper Cumberland: Stephanie Weeks
  • Wilder Youth Development Center: Vicki McKeen
  • Central Office: Michelle Hamblin

Congratulations, everyone!

Christmas Cheer Radiates from Dickson  

Dec. 17, 2021

CM foundation

The Craig Morgan Foundation provided Christmas gifts to all custodial children out of Dickson County. This is the third year in a row the foundation has done this for the children.

Gifts were wrapped by student athletes from the local high school who volunteered their time. Pictured here is the DCS staff, Craig Morgan, foundation members and new graduates from the local fire department that assisted in assembly of all the bikes.

CM foundation member, Mrs. Little, graciously headed this project and did a wonderful job with a very tight timeframe. Many community partners had a hand in making this possible for the children in this county.

-- Jackie Poteet

Compassion gifts

Compassion Church in Dickson County delivered gifts to the Dickson office for the children in the county and surrounding counties.

The gifts will be delivered to many children served by the FSS team across Dickson, Humphreys, Houston and Stewart counties.

On behalf our children and youth, we thank you!

EOM Michelle Hamblin


Don't let holiday stress get the best of you this season! Join us for two
15-minute classes to help you relax during your workday. 


Healthy Hot Chocolate and More

Warm up with this recipe for Healthy Hot Chocolate! 

Enjoy trying new recipes?

Check out these recipe recommendations and tips from Kim Maltempo (with the Department of Human Services) at:  

The 12 Days of Fitmas

Dec. 10, 2021

12 Days of Fitmas

Get fit and have fun with this festive, physical activity challenge!

  • The 12 Days of “Fitmas” will start on Saturday, Dec. 11 with 1st Day of “Fitmas” exercise.  Then, on the 2nd  Day of "Fitmas", you will do the exercise for that day PLUS the exercise for the 1st Day, and so on - just like the song!   
  • Interested in joining? Download the challenge calendar HERE and/or sign-up for the challenge communications by Friday 12/10 at Noon Central HERE. (Note: You do not have to sign-up to participate in this challenge.)  

Knox mourns the passing of  Jennifer Weaver

Dec. 3, 2021


From Charles Baumgardner

Jennifer Weaver passed away Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021.  She had an infectious laugh and a love for children.  She especially excelled working with older teens and young adults transitioning from custody having worked for several years as the region’s Independent Living Family Service Worker working with youth accepting Independent Living Services/Extension of Foster Care. 

One of these young adults said of Jennifer, “You were always so true, blunt, honest, and helpful.” 

They went on to say, “You never failed to tell me how proud you were of me, or how proud I must be making my parents.” 

She received her master’s from the University of Tennessee and began her career with DCS on June 16, 2006.

Most recently, following the transition of Extension of Foster Care case management to Youth Villages, Jennifer joined the region’s Foster Parent Support division.  In this role, Jennifer did a great job following up on inquiries, actively recruiting foster homes, building positive relationships with existing foster parents, and working to do the best each day for her families. 

Jennifer often encouraged and supported foster parents in their growth to be comfortable accepting teens by helping them to see the positives of teen placements.  As a colleague, Jennifer was kind, humorous, and always willing to share her knowledge and experience, lend a hand, and volunteer her time to assist coworkers.  She will truly be missed by everyone and will always be remembered as a selfless and giving person.

Sound Sleep Challenge

Good Night

Get practice with healthy sleep habits that can give you an optimal night's rest in this challenge starting Sunday, December 5 through Saturday, December 18. Let us know you want to join HERE!

Hello Holidays!

Healthier Holiday Tips

The holiday season is in full swing so here are some HEALTHIER HOLIDAY TIPS from Working for a Healthier TN (WFHTN) to help you remember to take care of YOU too.

Let's Get into the Giving Spirit!

banquet dreads

Let’s get into the giving spirit ✨ in honor of the Month of Giving this December. Helping others may actually help YOU maintain positive mental health! Looking for inspiration? Check out the Tennessee Employees Charitable Campaign and TennesseeServes.


Have you considered attending one of many free virtual workout options? Did you know that you can try without ANY commitment? Just pop in, see if it interests you and stay if you want to give it a try! You don’t need a webcam or anything special. Just attend and move with us! YOU can adjust the workout to YOUR fitness level.

Grab the December appointments to join these activities below!

  • MONDAYS: Yoga for All (with Sophia)
    • 12-12:15 p.m. Central
    • Download this calendar series HERE.
    • DHS 10-Minute Fitness Break
      • 11-11:10 a.m. Central
      • Click HERE to join at the time of the event.
    • Yoga for All
      • 12-12:15 p.m. Central
      • Download this calendar series HERE.
  • THURSDAYS: DCS Thursday Fitness Break
    • 11-11:15 a.m. Central
    • Download this calendar series HERE.
  • FRIDAYS: Yoga: Core&More
    • 12:15-12:45 p.m. Central
    • Download this calendar series HERE.