Monday, August 22, 2011

Memphis/West Walk Me Home Event

The Memphis/West WALK ME HOME event was held on Saturday August 20, 2011.  The event raised approximately $5,000 for Foster & Adoptive children/youth. The event was sponsored by Nike of West TN, Cathedral of Faith and several other Memphis Organizations. Although the day was hot the walk was a tremendous success.  Thank you to all those who volunteered and assisted in making the walk the success it was. 

Click here for the slide show

Friday, August 19, 2011

O’Day likes Juvenile Court model

Tennessee Department of Children Services Commissioner Kate O’Day toured Bradley County Juvenile Court on Tuesday.

Many partner leaders from Camelot Care Centers, Bradley County Schools and Valley Hospital attended to explain the role they play in the Behavioral Unit.

“Our vision for the state is that these kinds of solutions need to be located in communities. The state can’t do everything. Even the Juvenile Court can’t do everything. It’s the community coming together,” O’Day said. “This is a wonderful example of putting those ideals into practice.”

The commissioner hopes to use the Bradley County Juvenile Court as a model to show the direction she wants the DCS department to go. O’Day said she wanted those at DCS to have a sense of being a part of something bigger and connecting with the community.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

AP: More on the outage

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A spokeswoman for the Nashville Electric Service says power outages to about 20 downtown buildings - including the state Capitol - are the result of a work crew accidentally cutting underground cables.

Story continues here:

Downtown Nashville power outage affects DCS

From General Services:

The Department of General Services has confirmed that the NES power outage affecting downtown buildings will not be repaired until after close of business Thursday.  The Commissioner of Human Resources has declared the following buildings to be uninhabitable as of 1:45 pm. today.  The state uninhabitable building policy will be in effect and employees may be dismissed under appropriate administrative leave codes. 
Andrew Jackson
Rachel Jackson
Tennessee Tower
Legislative Plaza
War Memorial
Supreme Court
Library and Archives
We currently anticipate these buildings will be open on Friday, August 5.  

Department of General Services.

What that means for the DCS employees and visitors in the Andrew Jackson building
  • Check with your supervisor about what to do regarding your duties in the meantime.
  • Check back here at the WWU for updates.
  • Remember: You can subscribe to the department's Twitter feed or Facebook page to get your updates.
The handy links for those are at the right side of the WWU.

Stay cool,
The WWU Staff

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Guidance for Grandparents in Murfreesboro

The Daily News Journal had this brief item about a class for grandparents raising grandchildren.

Click here for more information about the August 14 session:

Monday, July 18, 2011

Crib safety guidelines impact foster parents

Recently a new drop down crib ban was brought to light. 

If you are a resource or kinship parent please check your present baby furniture for the banned items. 

If you do have a crib that can no longer be used please contact the manufacturer for a repair kit. 

If you google:  Drop Down Crib Repair Kits it will link you to several manufacturers sites, many of the repair kits are free or at minimal cost. 

Please do not attempt to fix the drop down problem with homemade devices, use the kit provided by the company or dispose of the unsafe crib. 

 Visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission page here.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

AP: US, Russia agree on rules for safer adoptions

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and Russia ended an ugly dispute over the abuse of adopted Russian children on Wednesday, with Washington signing an agreement that will increase oversight of adopting families to curtail possible maltreatment.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov signed the accord in a ceremony in Washington.

Continue here on CBS News.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dawson Elevated To Deputy Commissioner for Juvenile Justice

Albert G. Dawson Sr. is the Department of Children’s Services new Deputy Commissioner for Juvenile Justice. With more than 36 years of experience in this field, Dawson will be heading the department’s wide array of services for juvenile justice youth.

Most recently, he worked as the interim executive director for the Juvenile Justice division, which put him in charge of the five DCS youth development centers across the state.

He has also served as superintendent of the Woodland Hills Youth Development Center, a 144-bed facility in Nashville. During his tenure there, the facility was accredited with a 99.5 rating from the American Correction Association. After its next auditing visit from ACA, Woodland Hills scored a 100 percent rating.

Prior to his assignment at Woodland Hills, he  was the director of the department’s Community and Residential Programs.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Planting the Seeds of Change

When Shayna Smith, DCS Food Service Director, and Barbara Lonardi, Superintendent of New Visions Youth Development Center, first began discussing the possibility of a garden, they both thought it was a pipe dream.  The facility has only one small courtyard of grass and that is where the students recreate. Then, thanks to Shayna, along comes Jason Patterson from Community Food Advocates with a vision that gardens can be virtually anywhere. The dream became a reality.   Instead of using the grass in the courtyard, Jason suggested using raised bed gardens along the sidewalk.  This is where Cyndi Chester, the science teacher at New Visions, comes into play.  She was able to provide the wood and compost for the gardens; make the beds and secure the plants thanks to a generous donation from Benny Batts, manager at Robertson-Cheatham Farmers Co-op in Ashland City, TN.  

Within weeks, the team all worked together to get the gardens built and planted.  The garden is up and growing thanks to Mrs. Chester and her students that care for it.  In order to further get the girls interested in the garden, Jason Patterson brought in Chef Batts to make homemade pizzas with the girls using only fresh vegetables from the local farmer’s market.  The girls ended up being covered in flour and they were surprised how great a natural vegetable pizza could taste. The students are clamoring for more cooking lessons!  
Ms. Lonardi says, “I am thrilled with the joint effort between the Community Food Advocates representative; Jason Patterson, our Science teacher; Cyndi Chester and the students of New Visions.  This is our first sustainable garden/raised bed attempt and it is a wonderful success.  The plants are growing, the students are excited, and the learning opportunities are many.  We all look forward to eating our first fresh tomato!”

Friday, July 1, 2011

Knoxville Walk Me Home Event

WWU just received this note from Nicole Coning~

"We have received the final total on amount raised for WMH Knoxville.  I am very pleased to tell you that the total is....$16,700.00!!!  How exciting is that?  We not only met our goal of $15,000, but exceeded it!  Thanks again for your effort, hard work, and commitment to making the 1st WMH event in the Knoxville area so successful.  You all are the BEST!"

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Cordell Hull re-opens for business Monday

We just received this message:

Good afternoon all - the Department of General Services has confirmed that temporary measures have been completed, and the Cordell Hull building is up and running this afternoon with power and cooling on all floors.  The building is habitable, and employees may return to work on Monday.  Although some media have been reporting all weekend that we would open the building Monday, we will confirm with them, as well.
DGS and the contractor will continue work this week, and anticipate being able to switch to the permanent fix next weekend.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday afternoon update on the Cordell Hull

The electrical repair work remains on schedule.

Right now, the expectation is that the building will open for business Monday morning, but because there is still a lot of work to be done, the General Services staff wants to wait until early Sunday afternoon to make that decision.

We will let you know as soon as we hear.

Thanks, everyone.  Enjoy the weekend.

WATE: Governor Haslam and Commissioner O'Day on new meth law

Correction: Friday Morning Update.

We said Monday perviously. We meant "Friday" morning update.


Work crews are pulling new wire and will be working throughout the weekend. Later Fridaywe'll have a better idea of how soon we can be back at our normal desks next week.

Friday morning update on The Cordell Hull

Work crews are expected to be pulling new wire throughout the weekend, and there's a chance everyone could be back at their normal desks early next week.

We will know more around 4 p.m. Friday when the building's administrators circle up for a progress report.

We'll have the latest here at the Weekly Wrap Up.

And on Twitter: @TennDCS

Stay cool,
The entire Weekly Wrap Up team

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cordell Hull closed Friday July 10

The department's central office in Nashville will be closed Friday because of the ongoing electrical problems.

Department employees should check with their supervisors about where to report to work.

Meantime, DCS administrators are forwarding phones and making accommodations for temporary spaces in existing offices elsewhere in Nashville.

Check back here for updates.

Electrical problems close the Cordell Hull

Due to the current power outage and lack of air conditioning, the Cordell Hull Building is being closed until repairs can be completed.  We are not sure how long this will last. Updated information on the status of building repairs will be posted on the web (see below), so that you will be aware when you can report back to work.
Employees who are considered mission critical will be notified by their supervisor of the need to report to work and the alternate work location in accordance with your division's Emergency Response Plan.  If you have questions about whether or not your job function is mission critical, please talk directly with your supervisor.
We will continue to update you as more information become available.
How to stay in the loop:

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Employee Sick Leave Bank

If you are a member of the Employee's Sick Leave Bank who is retiring this year before October 1 or a current member wishing to terminate membership with the Sick Leave Bank, please pay close attention to this message.

In accordance with Sick Leave Bank (SLB) Guideline VI.1.d., current SLB members that wish to withdraw from membership in the SLB must provide a notarized letter requesting cancellation of membership directly to the Department of Human Resources.  This request must be received or postmarked no later than June 30, 2011.  Termination of membership is effective June 30, 2011.

Please include your Edison Employee ID Number on the notarized letter and submit it to:

Department of Human Resources
Employee Sick Leave Bank
First Floor, James K. Polk Building
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243-0635

The SLB Guidelines are on the Department of Human Resources web site at or you may contact Abby Stroud at 615-532-5541 if you have questions.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hear the Music Live Celebrity Golf Scramble CMA FEST Week in Nashville, TN June 7, 2011

National non-profit, Hear the Music Live will be holding a fundraiser to support live music experiences for foster youth nationwide at Opryland USA, Gaylord Spring Links in Nashville, TN on June 7, 2011. Show your support by playing in the Hear the Music Live Celebrity Golf Scramble and join your favorite celebrities afterwards for a special Gold Record Luncheon and Acoustic Jam in the pavilion. Surprise collaborations are expected!

 Click here to learn more.