Shelby County Relative Caregiver Program at UTHSC Receives $1.87 Million Grant

February 15, 2023

Following a competitive application process with the TN Department of Children’s Services, the UTHSC Center on Developmental Disabilities’ Shelby County Relative Caregiver Program (SCRCP) has been awarded a 30-month contract in the amount of $1.875 million dollars.

Children in relative care in Shelby County face complex and interrelated economic, social, and institutional challenges which create barriers for individuals seeking to live healthy and productive lives in their communities. While 4-5% of Tennessee children are raised in relative care annually, within Memphis alone in 2019, that number reached a staggering 12% or 12,000 children – double the amount reported in Nashville and Davidson County.

SCRCP provides a broad array of services for relative caregivers and their families living in Shelby County, including family advocacy, short-term case management, emergency one-time financial or start-up assistance, material assistance, teen activity groups, caregiver respite and enrichment, caregiver support groups, educational workshops, and information and referral. Free developmental screenings for children in relative care will be added as a new service.

Since 2001, SCRCP staff has provided services and supports to over 9,000 children in over 6,500 families; 95% or more of these children have not entered the state foster care system. By respecting what is unique and special within each family, providing accurate, easy-to-follow information about existing resources available to families, filling in gaps where services are not available, and providing emergency/start-up financial assistance, the program is designed to strengthen caregivers' abilities to maintain supportive and stable environments for their children.

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