The Department of Children’s Services Education Specialists play a vital role in the lives of children in state custody.

The specialists -- who work in conjunction with a child’s caseworker -- oversee early childhood interventions, help students acclimate to new schools, help youth enroll in college and advocate for all children in the classroom and in meetings with birth families, foster parents, caseworkers and providers.

And much more.

The work of the Education Specialist can mean the difference between a child passing a class, having a smooth transition to a different school district and getting much-needed special education services to help him succeed in school and after he has left foster care or juvenile detention.

The education staff works in more than 140 Tennessee school districts and 38 provider-run schools. Our central office staff in Nashville is primarily responsible for operating the DCS Special School District in the Youth Development Centers to make sure students in detention meet all state-mandated requirements.