NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) has partnered with Agape Child and Family Services, a faith-based non-profit in Memphis, using a two-generation framework serving children and parents in an effort to provide support, permanency, and sustainability within the family unit and the community. Through the partnership with TDHS, families will receive holistic, wraparound services from Agape and over 100 collaborative partners in under-resourced communities and schools.
“We have worked closely with the Agape team and community for several months to develop a demonstration project using the two gen framework. We were pleased to learn that they were already on a two gen path, yet needed additional support to better undergird and enhance alignment,” said TDHS Commissioner, Dr. Raquel Hatter. “This two gen wraparound service demonstration project is driven by collective impact and an unrelenting focus on better outcomes for children and families.
Services will focus on early childhood education, post-secondary education, workforce readiness, health, economic literacy and more. The two-generation partnership is a part of the department’s 2G for Tennessee strategy, which has a specific focus on partnering with parents and children together to improve the whole family’s well-being while building cycles of success. The two-generation framework utilizes four key components: education, economic supports, health & well-being, and social capital.
“We’re at a critical crossroads in Memphis – and this two-generation contract in partnership with the Department of Human Services will enable us to expand our services with families, both parents and children, in some of the most under-resourced areas of our city,” said David Jordan, Executive Director of Agape. “We are seeing that exponential and transformational healing occurs when we, alongside our many partners, are able to serve through the two-generation model, wholly serving the children and parents so that the family unit and their communities can function successfully and sustainably. In a way, this contract allows us to join these Memphis communities – Frayser, Hickory Hill and Whitehaven – offering unprecedented stability and permanency to the families we are blessed to serve.”
Many leaders in the Memphis community have been supportive of the partnership throughout the process including law enforcement, DA’s, school superintendents, parents, children, elementary schools, legislators, workforce partners and many others.
Rep. Akbari, D-Memphis said, “This new partnership between the Department of Human Services and Agape is exactly what we need in Memphis. Using a two-generational approach, Agape will provide the necessary wraparound services that many of our communities in Memphis so desperately need.”
Superintendent of the Achievement School District, Malika Anderson, said, “The Department of Human Services’ partnership with Agape launches the kind of multi-agency, cross-district and organization collaboration that puts families first in our collective effort to dramatically improve schools and the life outcomes of the students we serve in Memphis neighborhoods of greatest need. This is work that we’ve been doing separately for years – imagine what we can accomplish together.”
“The City of Memphis and Workforce Investment Network (WIN) are excited to be able to partner with Agape to help carry out the workforce activities that will help lift more Memphis families out of poverty.
“We support Agape in its intentional efforts to promote education and support the students of Shelby County. They are an extraordinary partner that strives to keep our students feel safe through effective school-based services and working directly with our school leaders and teachers. Their efforts will forever be remembered by the thousands of students they serve,” said Dorsey E. Hopson, II, Shelby County Schools Superintendent.
Agape Child & Family Services has worked to provide children and families with healthy homes for 47 years. They currently serve nearly 10,000 children and families in Memphis each year via school-based initiatives and place-based services in under-resourced communities; homeless services; counseling; adoption and foster care.
“This work is perfectly aligned with the mission of the two gen approach. This, in addition to Agape’s commitment to and heart toward the people of Memphis, made them an excellent partner for this opportunity to invest in the future success of Memphis families,” Hatter said. “To say I’m optimistic and hopeful about the future is an understatement. Agape is positioned to be a leader in Tennessee and in the nation on authentic engagement with communities with proven outcomes. Congratulations to David Jordan and the Agape team, the many community partners and to the many children and families with whom we all partner with in creating a better quality life and realizing their own version of the American Dream.”
For more information on the two-generation approach, please visit the 2G for Tennessee webpage at: http://www.tn.gov/humanservices/topic/2gen-approach