Prospective Vendors

The process by which the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) reviews and approves new and re-approves existing vendors who desire to provide services to children and families, through the Department, under the Delegated Authority. This process helps to ensure that vendor agencies meet the quality guidelines and possess the necessary credentials outlined in the Delegated Authority (DA), for the services they wish to provide.

To apply to be approved to be a vendor under the DA, the individual needs to contact the DA program staff at Upon contact, DA program staff will send the application and additional information to the vendor agency. The vendor will be required to complete the application and submit accompanying documentation, work samples, and valid background check information. Upon receipt, the submitted work samples will be reviewed by the Department's subject matter experts for quality verification. If quality meets designated standards, service rates will then be negotiated with the vendor.

Approval of service type(s) and rates are valid for two (2) years from the date of approval email.  Being an approved vendor does not guarantee the utilization of your services by any DCS region. The Department will consider all monitoring information and any reported concerns in the assessment of your performance. Please note that the Department reserves the right to withdraw approval at any time if a vendor fails to meet the qualifications specified in the application. Moreover, the Department can withdraw approval at any time.

The following documentation and background checks comprise a complete background check:

  • Criminal records check from local law enforcement records or county court records for all residences of employees within the immediate six (6) months preceding application for employment.
  • TBI/FBI fingerprint check.  For a detailed description regarding the fingerprint check, refer to the Protocol for Fingerprint Process and Analysis.
  • Driving records check to include current valid driver license and a check of moving violations records.
  • Drug Offender Registry Clearance
  • TN Felony Offender Database Clearance
  • National Sexual Offender Registry Clearance.
  • Tennessee Department of Health Abuse Registry Clearance.

Vendors, their employees, interns, volunteers, and if applicable, subcontractors, who have access to children and families during the performance of their job duties must also be cleared through a DCS database records check of TFACTS.

  • For every DA Service Type(s) selected on the application, provide the required supporting documentation (i.e., either a work sample or service/program description).
  • Please refer to Service Description Guideline and Criteria for an outline of information to include in each service description.
  • If a sample behavioral health assessment, submitted is conducted by a particular clinician in your agency, make sure they are listed on your staff roster and that licensure/certifications for that individual are listed
  • Be conscious of the 30-day timeframe to return your completed application
  • And above all, when in doubt, ask questions

Barriers that can delay the approval of an agency include:

  • Incomplete applications
  • Staff rosters that do not include names of all relevant staff, their positions, and a brief description of the role they have when providing a service type
  • Supporting documentation proving that an agency and/or staff person meets the requirements in the scope of service not being submitted
  • At the point of conditional approval, not submitting background check results for all staff with access to children during the performance of their job duties.

If you have additional questions or would like additional assistance, please contact a DA program representative.

Services Procured via Delegated Authority Application Process

Service Description Guideline and Criteria

  • Anger MGMT/Conflict Resolution
  • Alcohol and Drug Assessment
  • Alcohol and Drug Treatment
  • Assessment for Children with Sexual Behavior Problems (ages 12 & under)
  • Intensive In-Home Family Services
  • IOP-Alcohol and Drug Treatment
  • Mental Health Assessment
  • Mental Health Case Management
  • Parenting Capacity Assessment
  • Neuropsychological Assessment - Child
  • Neuropsychological Assessment - Adult
  • Psychosexual Assessment - Adolescent
  • Psychosexual Assessment - Adult
  • Psychological Assessment - child/youth
  • Psychological Assessment – Adult
  • Psychoeducational Assessment
  • Psychotherapy or Counseling
  • Therapy or Counseling for Sex Offender Treatment
  • Fingernail Analysis
  • Hair Analysis
  • Medical Review of Drug Screen
  • Urine Analysis
  • Extended Panel Urine Analysis
  • Instant Drug Screen
  • Homemaker Services
  • On-site Language/ASL Interpreter
  • Parent Education/Class
  • Sitter
  • Word Translation

Do you have additional questions about Delegated Authority purchases and/or provider?

Elvie Newcomb, Program Coordinator for the Delegated Authority Process
(615) 253-7715

For information on becoming a residential provider, please contact Frank Mix with Provider Network Development at or call (615) 741-9164.

For licensing information on becoming a Child Placing Agency, Family Boarding Home, Group Care Home, Residential Child Care Agency, Maternity Home, Juvenile Detention Center, Temporary Holding Resource, Child Abuse Prevention Agency, or Runaway Home in TN, visit the following link:  

For additional questions, you may contact or (865) 594-8553.