PHOENIX (March 16, 2015) – Childhelp, the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit advocating for abused and neglected children, will honor the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services and it’s Commissioner, Jim Henry, for excellence in serving the state’s at-risk children and families. The commissioner and his senior staff will be honored with the Childhelp Voice of the Children Award on April 22 at the Childhelp National Day of Hope celebration at the Nation’s capital.
“The outstanding work that Jim and his team are doing for Tennessee’s at-risk children and families should be brought to the forefront,” said Sara O’Meara, co-founder, CEO and chairman of the board for Arizona-based Childhelp. “The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services is a beacon for the fight against child abuse and neglect. It is a wonderful program, parts of which should be implemented in every state throughout the country.”
Childhelp has built a 56-year legacy of dedication to the prevention, intervention and treatment of child abuse and neglect. The Childhelp National Day of Hope is historically the day when the country remembers the children who have lost their lives due to abuse and neglect. It is the central gathering during National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April, a time of remembrance enacted by Congress through the strong encouragement of Childhelp co-founders, Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson, who stood in the Oval Office when President Carter signed the proclamation. In 2000, Congress passed a resolution designating the first Wednesday of each April as the Childhelp National Day of Hope.
O’Meara and Fedderson will honor Commissioner Henry and the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services with the Childhelp Voice of the Children Award at the luncheon in D.C. Henry and his team were specifically chosen to receive the award because the work they are doing gives children silenced by abuse a vocal advocate. The inspiring accomplishments of the department include:
- Achieving its continued #1 national performance ranking in getting children placed in a permanent and loving home;
- Revamping training for CPS and assessment workers and reorganizing Child Protective Services;
- Re-engaging the department’s partner agencies and improving working relationships with private providers;
- Achieving greater transparency regarding the department’s work;
- Continuing to improve TFACTS, the state’s computerized case-management system;
- Delivering robust foster parent recruitment;
- Developing a state-of-the-art child-death review process;
- Being the first state in the nation to offer transitional living services to 100 percent of youth who age out of foster care;
- Retooling the Child Abuse Hotline that answers 80 percent of calls within 20 seconds;
- Improving employee morale.
“I am humbled and thrilled to receive this award from Childhelp,” said Henry. “My entire DCS staff are doing everything they possibly can to get our Tennessee children safe, healthy and back on track. We hope to have the chance to share our best practices with other states in the U.S.”
The April 22 Childhelp National Day of Hope luncheon in Washington D.C. will be co-chaired by U.S. Senator John McCain, R-Arizona, and U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-California.
In our nation, five children die each day as a result of abuse or neglect and that is #FiveTooMany. A report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds and nearly 3.3 million reports of child abuse are made annually. Childhelp’s programs work to combat these issues daily. For more information visit www.childhelp.org/end-five-many/.
Since 1959, Childhelp® has brought the light of hope and healing into the lives of countless children as a leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping at-risk children. Childhelp’s programs and services include residential treatment services, children’s advocacy centers, therapeutic foster care, group homes and child abuse prevention, education and training. Childhelp created the Childhelp National Day of Hope®, held each April during National Child Abuse Prevention Month that mobilizes Americans to join the fight against child abuse. For more information, log on to www.childhelp.org, facebook.com/childhelp or twitter.com/childhelp.
About Tennessee Department of Children’s Services
The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services is the state’s public child welfare agency. Its 4,300 employees are responsible for child protective services, foster and adoption programs and juvenile justice.
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