The Department of Children's Services (DCS) Relative Caregiver Program (RCP) is a public/private collaboration designed to support children who are not able to be raised by their parents, and are being cared for by grandparents, aunts, uncles and other extended family members. DCS contracts with community based agencies to provide services in each of the 12 regions.
Families are eligible for the program by meeting the following standards:
1. The relative caregiver must have primary care and control of the child through informal family arrangements or through legal custody or guardianship.
2. The child must be age 18 or under; age 19, if the child will complete high school or any equivalent vocational/technical training before age 20.
3. The relative caregiver and their spouse must take part in an in-home assessment and provide supporting documentation verifying program eligibility. The caregiver must agree to accept support services.
4. The caregiver must be able to provide a safe home for related child and be committed to providing that home as long as is necessary and appropriate, until the child reaches the age of majority. The child must reside in the home with the relative caregiver and this must be the child's primary residence.
5. The relative caregiver must be related to the child by blood, marriage, or adoption.
6. In order to receive Emergency Financial or start-up Assistance from RCP, the relative caregiver family must not be in receipt of any type of kinship payment or subsidy (i.e. Foster Care Board Payment, Families First Kinship Care Payment, or Subsidized Guardianship) and the household income cannot exceed twice the current Federal Poverty guideline.
• Family Advocacy / Short-term Case Management
• Youth / Teen Activity Groups
• Emergency One Time Financial or Start-Up Assistance
• Educational Workshops
• Information & Referral
• Respite & Recreation
• Caregiver Support Groups
• Material Assistance
• Shelby County (901) 448-3133 UT Boling Center for Developmental Disabilities
• Knox, East, Northeast Regions (865) 376-3464 Foothills Care Inc.
• Davidson County (615)320-0591 Family & Children s Service
• Hamilton County & Southeast Region (423) 424-4202 South East Development District
• Upper Cumberland Region (931) 432-4111 Upper Cumberland Development District
• Northwest & Southwest Region (731) 772-8378 Exchange Club-Carl Perkins Center
• South Central Region (931) 684-4676 The Center for Family Development
• Mid-Cumberland Region (615) 473-3006 New Visions Inc.