Tennessee Department of Children’s Services

State Sen. Todd Gardenhire, R-Chattanooga, center, has expressed suspicion about the suspension of the Baptiste Group. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Chattanooga center for immigrant children sues state over license suspension

BY: - July 20, 2021

The Chattanooga organization that runs a short-term center for immigrant children sued the state Tuesday, seeking to have its license reinstated, after the Department of Children’s Services suspended it over allegations of sexual misconduct. Baptiste Group, which runs La Casa de Sidney, and holds a contract with the federal government to accept immigrant children until […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Photograph: John Partipilo)

Amid investigation, Hakeem raises questions about state suspension of Baptiste Group license

BY: - July 7, 2021

Allegations of sexual abuse at a Baptiste Group home for migrant children gave the state an excuse to suspend the facility’s license as political pressure mounted, a Chattanooga Democrat says. “That’s my perspective,” state Rep. Yusuf Hakeem said Tuesday. “And what concerns me is that supposedly the state would have been doing on-site reviews every […]

Bill's Place, Shelby County (Photo from Youth Villages website)

COVID-19 spike keeps DCS kids away from families at Christmas

BY: - December 24, 2020

With more than 300 kids stuck in COVID-19 quarantine at facilities licensed by the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, this holiday season may bring limited cheer or face to face contact with parents and siblings. Since April, 636 children and youth have tested positive for COVID-19 in facilities connected with DCS —144 of them since December […]

(Photo: Annie Otzen/Getty Images)

Audit of Department of Children’s Services finds caseloads are still too high, despite law imposing limits

BY: - December 14, 2020

An audit of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services found that social workers continue to juggle caseloads that are too high, two years after lawmakers passed a measure limiting caseworker to an average of no more than 20 children each. The department’s 1,800 case managers investigate allegations of child abuse and neglect, find foster homes […]

(Photo: Getty Images)

Report ranks Tennessee one of top five for kids in state custody with COVID-19

BY: - October 1, 2020

More than 1,800 children and teens involved in juvenile justice systems across the nation and in Puerto Rico have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began, a report released Wednesday by The Sentencing Project has found. Tennessee is one of five states with the highest number of positive cases among kids in custody: 146 […]

Image courtesy of Getty Images.

COVID-19 continues to increase at DCS

BY: - July 7, 2020

The Department of Children’s Services has produced new details about youth and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 in county-run detention centers, residential treatment facilities operated by DCS contractors and in Wilder Youth Development Center, DCS’ sole secure lockup for delinquent youth. In total, 185 youth and 106 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 […]

Tennessee Department of Children's Services logo

COVID-19 cases spike in Department of Children’s Services facilities

BY: - June 29, 2020

At least 164 children living in facilities operated or licensed by the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services have tested positive for COVID-19 — the biggest outbreak in the nation linked to a single child welfare agency. The children, both boys and girls, tested positive inside county juvenile detention centers licensed by DCS, in 49 residential […]

Tennessee Department of Children's Services logo

More teens in state custody test positive for COVID

BY: - June 4, 2020

More teens in state custody have tested positive for coronavirus at a Department of Children’s Services youth detention facility in Fayette County.  A total of 21 teenage boys have tested positive at the Wilder Youth Development Center in Somerville, Tenn, located about 35 miles from Memphis. The 120-bed facility houses teens, ages 13 to 19, […]

Youth Opportunity operates Bledsoe Youth Academy.

Sumner youth center posts all negative COVID results

BY: - May 19, 2020

All children and staff at a Sumner County youth treatment center have tested negative for COVID-19, after mass testing prompted by a staff member who tested positive for the virus, the Department of Children’s Services reported Tuesday. The privately-operated Bledsoe Youth Academy employs 41 staff members who oversee 30 children in state custody at the […]