Community Advisory Boards (CABs): A Resource for Advocates - Articles

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Posted by: Christy Gibson on Dec 6, 2012

The 2005 multiple response system (MRS) legislation (T.C.A. §37-5-601, et seq.) mandates independent local advisory boards in each county where MRS is implemented by DCS, and MRS now is being executed in each county. The boards, called Community Advisory Boards (CABs), are not a part of DCS, and their purpose is to “recommend ways to bring together the department, families, and available resource providers within that community and…assist with the development of community-based resources that may be needed by families.” (TCA §37-5-607)

The CABs should be comprised of community representatives, including families, schools, health care providers, juvenile courts, and other community-based resources. While CABs are up and running in all counties, it is important to increase the participation of private attorneys, advocates, and court staff in the local CAB meetings and on relevant list serves. CABs can be a truly valuable resource for attorneys representing or advising parents, youth, family members, foster parents, prospective adoptive parents or agencies. Community-based supports promote the ability of families to cope with difficulties, so the CABs may be particularly useful in non-custodial, pre-custodial and private party situations, as well as in cases where children or youth are transitioning out of DCS custody.

DCS collaborates with local CABs and has identified CAB Liaisons for each county. Click here for that list. For more information, please contact Bobby Leverett (865.425.4400, ext. 4411 or Bobby.Leverett@tn.gov), DCS’ lead on work with the Community Advisory Boards.

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Contributors to this story:  Bobby Leverett, Susan Mee, and Rae Anne Seay