As part of Governor Lee’s TN Strong Families initiative, DIDD is partnering with DCS to provide support to children who have intellectual and developmental disabilities and are in state custody or at-risk of coming into state custody. DIDD has developed a tiered approach that includes direct care services, support for foster families, and home and community-based services for children with complex needs.
What is Tennessee Strong Families?
In partnership with the Department of Children’s Services, DIDD is leveraging its expertise in providing supports to children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to increase service options for children with IDD in state custody or at risk of coming into state custody.
DIDD has developed a three-tiered approach.
Tier 1 Direct Support in TN Strong Family Homes
- DIDD offers short-term placement to children in DCS custody with acute medical needs who are awaiting long-term placement. Often, these are children who are currently placed in children’s hospitals and emergency rooms.
- DIDD provides this care in its former state-operated community homes in Davidson, Shelby and Greene counties.
- Children are able to receive needed nursing and clinical therapies while living in a home and engaging with their communities.
Tier 2 Supporting and Sustaining Foster Placements for Children with IDD Through the TN Strong Families HRA Program
- Supports foster families in offsetting the financial burden associated with high medical and behavioral needs
- Provides critical supports to help care for children with IDD and sustain stable placements
- Uses the Healthcare Reimbursement Account (HRA) model, where a family can use a card to buy medically necessary items to care for children or be reimbursed after the fact
- Provides funding for up to $20,000 per child per calendar year. Families will be supported to use this program with an Independent Support Coordinator.
- All referrals for TN Strong Families HRA come from DCS Case Workers. No external applications are accepted.
Tier 3 Expanding the Provider Network to Care for Children with IDD
- DIDD is working to establish an experienced provider network to support children with IDD and co-occurring behavioral health needs
- Program will provide high levels of medical and behavioral programming as well as therapeutic respite support
- Program will also focus on helping children master independence skills and prepare for transition into adulthood
- Earliest anticipated start date: July 2024