UT Center of Excellence Recognized for Achievement

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The UT Center of Excellence for Children in State Custody recently received a Psychiatric Services Achievement Award from the American Psychiatric Association.

The University of Tennessee Center of Excellence for Children in State Custody (UT Center of Excellence), as part of the Tennessee Consortium of Centers of Excellence for Children in State Custody, recently received a Psychiatric Services Achievement Award from the American Psychiatric Association. These awards recognize programs of original quality or exceptional merit and were presented at the 56th Institute on Psychiatric Services.

The UT Center of Excellence is a collaboration of the Boling Center for Developmental Disabilities and the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The two other regional Centers of Excellence that make up the consortium are located at East Tennessee State University and Vanderbilt University.

The Tennessee Centers of Excellence for Children in State Custody were established in 2002 in collaboration with the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS) and TennCare to serve children in state custody (foster care) and those at risk of entering state custody. Up to 80 percent of children in foster care programs across the country have increased healthcare needs, including behavior healthcare needs, compared to children not in foster care. The network of regional Centers of Excellence assists DCS and community providers by improving health and behavioral health services for these children through consultative and direct services and training of DCS personnel and other providers.

Since its inception in March 2002, the UT Center of Excellence has served more than 800 children and provided more than 40 workshops. Program outcome data indicates that about 75 percent of the center’s recommendations for services have been implemented, and that caseworker and family satisfaction with outcomes are high.