DCS By the Numbers

Black Local and National News

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NASHVILLE, TN –Each year from 2010-2017 more opioid prescriptions were filled in Tennessee than the number of people who live here.& In the 1990s the crack cocaine epidemic overwhelmed the state’s child welfare system. In the last decade, opioid abuse has done it again.& Since 2016 the number of children taken into state custody has increased each year. DCS had 8,001 children in custody in 2016. A year later it had 14,421. It has remained that high since.& About 4,000 families are willing to take in a foster child in Tennessee but there are about double that number of children who need a foster home, according to the Tennessee Alliance for Kids (TAK).& & & Children in Custody and Exits 2014-2020 (from DCS reports) 2014-152015-162016-172017-182018-192019-20Custody8093800114,42114,92115,40415,099Exits593563584148451547174551 The number of parents having their parental rights legally terminated has increased by 51% in Tennessee during the past few years, according to TAK.& & Children Waiting for AdoptionSource: Children’s Bureau U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services Tennessee2015201620172018& 2019Total waiting1,2681,3011,3221,6251,743TPR Children*1,0561,1121,067& 999& 1,014* Children whose parents’ rights have been terminated Since 2010 there has been a 56% increase in the number of children waiting to be adopted.& The number of children in custody keeps...