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Montgomery County part of state’s first regional system of care for young children

Early Connections Network will focus on military families

Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental DisabilitiesNashville, TN – State Senator Tim Barnes (D-Adams) announced Montgomery County’s inclusion in Tennessee’s first regional care network for the early intervention and prevention of social, emotional or behavioral needs for young children, with an emphasis on the children and families of military service members.

“We have an unprecedented opportunity in our area to provide crucial care to the children of our military veterans,” Barnes said. “I’m proud of the work done by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities to make this service possible.”

The department will administer Tennessee’s Early Connections Network: Fulfilling the Promise (ECN), a mental health initiative in Cheatham, Robertson, Sumner, Montgomery and Dickson counties. Under a six-year, $9 million federal grant, the ECN will develop a comprehensive care plan for at least 400 children ages 0-5 with early childhood social, emotional and behavioral needs.

One of the goals of the program will be to create a model that can be replicated across the state. Special attention will be given to the children and families of military service members, as the five-county region includes a large population of active military, reserve and National Guard units, including the 101st Airborne at Fort Campbell.

“As more of our soldiers return home, some of them may discover that their children are experiencing challenges that can be addressed in this initiative,” Barnes said.

The ECN will be operated locally through a broad based public-private partnership of the Department’s Division of Special Populations, Tennessee Voices for Children, Centerstone Community Mental Health Center, families, caregivers, and other local and regional stakeholders.

State Senator Tim Barnes
State Senator Tim Barneshttp://www.capitol.tn.gov/senate/members/s22.html
Senator Tim Barnes represents District 22 in the Tennessee State Legislature. District 22 is comprised of Cheatham, Houston, and Montgomery Counties

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