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!"