Tennessee Department of Human Services Hosts Fifth Annual Resilient Families Forum: 2G for Tennessee
National, Federal, State, and Local Partners Gather in Nashville to Discuss Two-Generation Strategies Focused on Creating Cycles of Success
NASHVILLE. – The Fifth Annual Resilient Families Forum, hosted by the Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS), was held in Nashville on Tuesday. The forum included partners from the national, federal, state, and local levels who gathered together to discuss innovative ways to help Tennesseans at all stages of life reach their greatest potential. The forum focused on a two-generation approach, called 2G for Tennessee, which has a specific focus on partnering with parents and children together to improve the whole family’s well-being.
Dr. Raquel Hatter, Tennessee Department of Human Services Commissioner, provided opening remarks about the Department’s journey to date. She said, “Today has been so exciting. The Annual Resilient Families Forum has been a constant part of our journey to identify ways to better serve and partner with Tennessee families. 2G is good for Tennessee. Today marked another day of momentum for the Department of Human Services, families in Tennessee, and our partners. We remain laser focused on maximizing the potential of the people who are our neighbors, our workforce, and our civic body to ensure that our communities remain vibrant places to live and work. This is what we do.”
The forum included sessions focused on aligning programs and services to better serve individuals and families in a manner that supports a lifetime of success.
"It’s time to shift the conversation and talk about what it takes to make sure everyone can meet their full potential and contribute in their communities.", said presenter Ilsa Flanagan, Director of the National Reframing Initiative, National Human Services Assembly.
Justin Owen, President and CEO of the Beacon Center in Tennessee also presented at the forum. He said, “At Beacon, our top priority is to eliminate the hurdles that stand in the way of Tennesseans' ability to succeed, especially those preventing families in poverty from reaching self-sufficiency. All Tennesseans deserve the ability to reach their fullest potential, and we are honored to work with Commissioner Hatter and advocates on both sides of the aisle to help identify and eliminate hurdles that prevent them from doing so."
“Energetic and hopeful events such as Tennessee’s Resilient Families Forum contribute to my optimism that this country is standing at the cusp of bringing more people to reach their fullest potential. The Tennessee Department of Human Services is a national leader in its work to strengthen families and communities,” said Susan Dreyfus, CEO and President of the Alliance for Children and Families.
Tracy Wareing-Evans, Executive Director of the American Public Human Services Association gave an update on how transformation is taking place. She said, “Communities across the country are discovering that by working collaboratively across systems and sectors, we can advance the health and well-being for all children and families; the Resilient Families Forum and 2G for Tennessee embody that idea and a shared commitment to ensure cycles of success for all Tennesseans.”
The afternoon sessions featured speakers from federal partners at the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families and the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service.
“What an amazing forum of Federal, State and community partners engaging around the state's commitment to moving the whole family toward economic security ... the energy and passion in the room was contagious ... I'm hooked on 2G for Tennessee,” said Robin Bailey, USDA-FNS Southeast Regional Administrator.
The last session featured the Tennessee Department of Human Services’ Fatherhood Initiative aimed at embracing the role of fathers in the 2G for Tennessee strategy.
Christopher Brown, Executive Director for the National Fatherhood Initiative said, “Children grow up in families and our families support outcomes. It is important that fathers are a part of that process, especially with 2Gen strategies. We know it works.”
The Department of Human Services presented a proclamation signed by Governor Haslam recognizing the Fifth Annual Resilient Families Forum. The proclamation also named August 30, 2016 as “2G for Tennessee Day” in support of the two generation approach.
Two-generation Accelerator awards were presented at the end of the forum to Department of Human Services’ employees and partners for their efforts in supporting 2G for Tennessee. Joyce Turner accepted the award on behalf of the child care program for their efforts in supporting the Imagination Library. Charles Bryson accepted two awards on behalf of the Family Assistance Division for their work in supporting the Tennessee Promise and the Imagination Library. Pellisippi State Community College and East Tennessee State University- Nurse Family Partnership were also honored with awards. Several families were honored with Rise Above Awards celebrating their success.
For more information on the two-generation approach, please visit the 2G for Tennessee webpage at: http://www.tn.gov/humanservices/topic/2gen-approach .