Family Crisis Intervention Program

The Family Crisis Intervention Program (FCIP) is a service provided by the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) to deliver continuous support and guidance designed to stabilize crises that impact children and their families.  The FCIP program ensures that all appropriate community services have been exhausted prior to any dependent, neglected, or unruly child is placed into state custody.  Additionally, Tennessee’s Juvenile Courts are to comply with state law that requires a referral of an unruly child to the FCIP program prior to a custodial commitment.   

A DCS caseworker works with the child, family, family supports, and identified community agencies to develop a plan with the family, that may include linking the family with resources in the community.  During a child and family team meeting, families should expect to be informed of the program and to receive assurance that DCS is partnering with the family to improve the conditions.  DCS staff and community resources will have regular contact with the child and family to assess progress and to track and adjust the child and family plan as necessary.     

The FCIP may serve as an alternative to juvenile court in situations where a crisis exists and there has been either:

  1. A request by a parent or child for intervention; or
  2. A referral by a public or private agency, educational institution, or any other organization serving children, that has contact with the child or family, and has reason to believe that a family crisis exists.

Although efforts are made to provide noncustodial services to children and families experiencing crises, more intensive services may be essential.  If, in the judgment of the FCIP, a crisis continues to exist despite the provision of crisis intervention services and the exhaustion of appropriate community services, court intervention may be warranted.   

Refer to the DCS policy 14.27 (Family Crisis Intervention Program) and TCA 37-1-168 for additional information.