FSPs in the Juvenile Courts
The TN Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services is partnering with TN Voices to provide family support in the courts in order to reduce recidivism and increase diversion of children from the juvenile justice system. The Family Support Providers (FSP) in the Courts Program has been created to support families in identifying resources and services to address mental health issues in youth facing Juvenile charges. Referrals to the program will be made when the court identifies a child with confirmed or suspected mental health concerns that may be contributing to their current and/or alleged delinquency. Upon referral, the assigned FSP will complete a needs and strengths assessment and provide assistance to the youth and family in connecting with appropriate resources and mental health services. Currently this program is serving Davidson and Sumner Counties.
The TDMHSAS, Forensic division, was awarded a TTI grant in 2010 to develop a way to assess the needs of youth encountering the juvenile justice system. In partnership with the Administrative Office of the Courts, the TN Department of Children’s Services (Juvenile Justice division) Vanderbilt Behavioral Health, and a number of juvenile courts across the state, TDMHSAS was able to train court staff in the use of an abbreviated version of the CANS (Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths) tool. Based on the CANS screening, court staff are able to make referrals for appropriate services for youth and their families.
Three of these courts also access the Family Support Provider (FSP) through TVC; court staff identify the families that would benefit from family support services and make a direct referral to TVC.