Key issues • Tennessee

Too many foster kids in Tennessee, not enough homes for them

The lack of support post-foster care and growing number of foster children has Tennessee in crisis mode … Tennessee’s foster care system currently has over 9,100 foster children, but only 4,000 parent homes. Since 2020, 600 more children have entered the Tennessee Department of Child Services foster care. “Around the state there are stories coming out about young folks having to sleep in DCS offices, because there are not foster homes willing and ready to go and take those young people in,” Beresetcky said…. Bailey says the inability to find children a home can have devastating impacts on their mental health.

“It further perpetuates a narrative that they are not worthy of a loving home, which of course leads to a lot of mental health issues. We’re trying to find homes that can provide that stability, can provide that unconditional love that every child deserves, so that they really can feel their worth and how lovable they are,” Bailey said.

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