Last year there were some 7,000 children in foster care in Tennessee. Many of these children spend years in the foster care system, enduring numerous placements. Most have disabling conditions as a result of experiencing traumatic abuse and neglect, including attachment disorder and post traumatic stress disorder.
While these youth are difficult to place, due to their emotional and behavioral needs, length of time in custody, and history of multiple home or residential placements, if they leave care without family support, the results can be catastrophic for them and for the community at large. Tennessee is among 10 states with the highest percentage of youth aging out of foster care without support.
Through federal grants and state contracts, Harmony has developed a network of statewide programs designed to provide the help and support these children and their adoptive families need to be successful. From finding families for at-risk children, to supporting adoptive families and proving training and advocacy for adoption, Harmony’s programs are intended to support adoption and its wide-reaching benefits for children, families, and the community.
Two Harmony programs – Finding Our Children Unconditional Support (FOCUS)
and Adoption Support and Preservation (ASAP) have been awarded the Adoption Excellence Award from the Children’s Bureau, Administration of Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Harmony’s Impact on Tennessee’s Families
Our highly qualified clinical staff
- Masters degree or above
- Average 10 years clinical experience
- Ongoing professional training
- To find safe, permanent homes for the most vulnerable children
- To support successful adoption by providing support services to adoptive families
- To reduce the number of children aging out of foster care without a permanent family
- Each year, Harmony serves over 1000 children and youth in Tennessee, all of whom were formerly in Tennessee’s foster-care system.
- Last year, Harmony found homes for over 100 youth who had been labeled the “long-stayers” by the system; most were older with special physical or emotional needs, and all had lost hope in the dream of a family.
- Our adoption disruption rate is less than 1%, while the national average is 15-20%
Fiscal impact of our programs
- According to Tennessee’s Department of Children’s Services, our post-adoptions services program saves our state $6.5 million each year by keeping adoptive families together
- The average cost of foster care is $100 per day
- The average cost of an adoption subsidy is $25 per day. Finding homes for 120 youth last year saved the state millions of dollars.