For Families

Several programs in Tennessee offer support and services for parents and families of infants exposed to substances in-utero, including infants with NAS.

Learn more about each program below.

Navigating the complex system of health and social services can be challenging for many individuals and families, and depending on individual needs and medical diagnoses, care may involve several programs, providers, and personnel. To overcome these challenges, the Tennessee Department of Health developed a care coordination program, CHANT. CHANT teams provide enhanced patient-centered engagement and navigation of medical and social services referrals. Additional information about the CHANT program is available here.

Evidence Based Home Visiting (EBHV) programs can be an effective early-intervention strategy to improve the health and well-being of children and parents. Research demonstrates that young children of families enrolled in EBHV programs show improvements in health and development outcomes and increased school readiness. Families participate on a voluntary basis and are provided with ongoing support in times of need.

The Tennessee Department of Health currently governs EBHV programs in all 95 counties via service contracts with local community-based agencies and county and regional health departments. Contact information for Evidence Based Home Visiting programs by county can be found here.

Programs offered through Family Voices of Tennessee provide support, information and resources from someone who is on a similar journey caring for a child with a special health care need, chronic illness or disability. Family Voices of TN can help by problem-solving; providing emotional support; connecting parents/caregivers to community resources; sharing first-hand experience and tips; making referrals to other agencies who can provide additional support; providing assistance in navigating the healthcare system; and connecting parents/caregivers with other parents through the PEARS Program, Parent to Parent Mentorship or a Parents Reaching Out Session. Families can get connected by visiting the Family Voices of Tennessee webisite and filling out the “Get Connected” form.

Head Start and Early Head Start are federally funded programs that promote school readiness of children ages 0-5 from eligible families through education, health, social and other supports and services. Tennessee's Head Start programs serve approximately 20,000 children and their families every year with comprehensive education, social and health programs for children, and programs for family and community engagement with the goal of facilitating school readiness. Head Start classrooms are operated by government, private, faith-based and community-based organizations in nearly every county in the state directly or through Child Care partnerships or other collaborative arrangements.  More information is available here.

TEIS is a program that provides services to children from birth to age three who have disabilities or other developmental delays. TEIS is a critically important program to support young children and their families. TEIS helps families navigate available resources for their child to reach their optimal development.

Information for parents can be found here. Children can be referred to TEIS by completing an online referral form or calling (800) 852-7157.