In 2017, Tennessee passed legislation to create the “Zero To Three Court Initiative” to improve outcomes for infants, toddlers and families involved in the child welfare system.
Tennessee is using ZERO TO THREE’s Safe Babies Court Team™ (SBCT) approach as the basis for the initiative, building off the success of two SBCT sites already operating in Nashville and Grundy County. SBCT is a community engagement and systems-change approach focused on improving how the courts, child welfare agencies, and related child-serving organizations work together, share information, and expedite services for young children in the child welfare system. The approach has been shown to decrease the amount of time children spend in foster care by up to a year, decrease the recurrence of maltreatment, and successfully connect children and families to needed services. Five of the new courts have already begun developing strategic plans for implementation. The remaining five are expected to start in early 2019. Tennessee is using Title IV-E funding to support the expansion. Learn more about the core components of the SBCT here.