How You Can Help
There are countless ways -- big and small -- to assist children in foster care and support both their foster and birth families.
The information on this page offers ideas on how you can help.
You also can consider other opportunities such as becoming a foster parent or working with your faith community on a project or special request.
How Your Community Group Can Help & Volunteer
Churches, communities of faith, civic groups and volunteers are an important part of the network of community partnerships that help protect children, develop youth, strengthen families and build safe communities. Certified volunteers are valued at the Department of Children’s Services as additional resources that enhance programs and help provide non-formal services for the children and families served by the department. Volunteers are trained and offer support in any area of the department where there are identified needs.
- Assist a family with utilities, home repairs, car repairs, etc.
- Sponsor special events such as holiday parties
- Offer to support Tennessee foster parent associations
- Provide items needed to support a kinship or foster placement -- things such as beds, cribs, clothing, etc.
- Become a volunteer or facilitator at a visitation site
- Become a mentor, coach, or tutor through a structured, DCS-approved established entity, organization or congregation.
To learn how individuals or faith based groups can learn more about supporting TNFosters, please contact:
Tennessee Alliance for Children and Families keeps an online list of private member agencies that have volunteer and mentorship programs.
Connect with DCS Resource Linkage
DCS Resource Linkage coordinators actively and regularly connect with individuals and community groups to share information about how local child welfare initiatives are working and identify ways to address any areas of need.
Resource Linkage staff also focus on specific needs of families whose children are at risk of coming into care.
These staffers know who to call on if a family needs bedding, or a home repair or quick help. Resource Linkage staff also seek individuals who can sponsor children for a summer camp or connect a youth with a mentor.
Resource Linkage is a valuable way for individuals to share their energy and resources with children and families in their own communities.
- For more information visit the Resource Linkage web page.
Support in Action
The Elks Lodge in Franklin worked with DCS staff to cook and deliver full Thanksgiving meals to 47 foster parent families.
Read examples of volunteering and support in Tennessee.