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Tennessee named as one of four state partners in center for the study of Social Policy’s AIM Community


State Cited For Pioneering Creative Ways Of Adapting National Initiative

Tennessee Department of Human ServicesNashville, TN – The Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) has announced that its Strengthening Families initiative has named Tennessee as one of four states to participate in its Action, Implementation and Momentum (AIM) Community, designed to expand implementation of its Strengthening Families approach. The other states selected are Idaho, Massachusetts and Washington.

The ‘partners’ were chosen from members of the Strengthening Families National Network, made up of more than 30 states using the protective factors in their state and local work.  Tennessee and the other states chosen for the AIM Community have led the way in pioneering creative ways to adapt Strengthening Families to their own state systems of early care and education, child welfare, public health and even probation. 

“Strengthening Families is not a curriculum or a program; it is an approach that is consistent with what many early care and education providers are already doing. The tools and protective factors framework help child care providers build on their strengths and implement changes in a way that makes sense,” said Barbara Wall, director of child care for the Department of Human Services. “It is exciting to see the Tennessee Strengthening Families partnership that is built on mutual respect between child care providers, families and child serving agencies acknowledged on the national level.”

Tennessee has incorporated Strengthening Families into CCR&R (Child Care Resource & Referral) training, technical assistance, and other concepts.  Wall singled out Jeanne Brooks, with the Tennessee Children’s Trust Fund at the Department of Children’s Services, who was instrumental in bringing the Strengthening Families approach to Tennessee.

“As more states and programs adopt Strengthening Families, we want to learn from those who are leading the way,” said Judy Langford, associate director and senior fellow at CSSP who leads the Strengthening Families work. For more information on Strengthening Families, visit

For more than 30 years, the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP), a nonpartisan Washington, D.C. nonprofit, has been working with state and federal policymakers and communities across the country. Focused on public policy, research and technical assistance, CSSP promotes smart policies that improve the lives of children and their families and works to achieve equity for those too often left behind. For more information, visit




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