(CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.) The McNabb Center was recently awarded a $276,400 grant to provide services to families who have been involved with both the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS) as well as the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC). 

Through this pilot program, the McNabb Center will collaborate with DCS, TDOC and the Tennessee Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services (DMHSAS) to assess the needs of families and connect those families with the appropriate resources or services.

“This program will allow us to build resilience for youth whose families have been impacted by involvement with DCS and the DOC,” said Gayle Lodato, McNabb Center’s senior director of Greater Chattanooga Area services. “When we can address needs within our community, we can work to strengthen the family system and, when appropriate, reunify families.”

The program will take a two-generational approach, meaning the staff will work with parents or caregivers as well as their children to address the needs of the entire family. The program will be staffed by three full time staff, including a program coordinator, master’s level therapist and case manager.

The program is unique to Hamilton County and will be reviewed to determine how to replicate similar programs across the state. Funding for the project is provided by The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) through the Victims of Crime Act funds. 

“It takes many different sectors working together to create safer communities and healthier families. Ninety-five percent of the people inside a TDOC facility will go home one day, all with different stories and different needs. Being able to assess those needs and provide appropriate resources could have a generational impact on Tennessee families and help them lead successful lives upon reentry, said TDOC Commissioner Tony Parker. 

“When we first talked with other state partners about this idea, their response convinced us that a dedicated community could make it a reality – and we couldn’t be more excited about helping the Hamilton County community provide this service to families,” said Director of the Office of Criminal Justice Programs Jennifer Brinkman. 

This project was supported by Award No. 2018-V2-GX-0024 awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice through the Tennessee Office of Criminal Justice Programs.

The McNabb Center is the region’s leading nonprofit provider of mental health, substance use, social and victim services. By focusing on an individual’s “Well Mind, Well Being,” we provide a quality and compassionate approach to care from infancy   through adulthood. Since 1948, the Center has proudly served individuals with the most needs and fewest resources. Today, the McNabb Center delivers support to more than 30,000 people throughout East Tennessee each year. For more information, visit www.mcnabbcenter.org or call 1-800-255-9711.