Where are you located?
The Tennessee Kids Belong team covers all of Tennessee. Our central office is located in The Lodge, located at 1229 Lakeview Dr., Franklin, TN 37067. We have employees remotely located in Memphis, Chattanooga and Knoxville.
How many staff are on your team?
With 4 full time employees and 4 part time employees, Tennessee Kids Belong works across Tennessee, and has employees in Memphis, Chattanooga and Knoxville. To see the best point of contact for your area, visit our staff page: https://www.tnkidsbelong.org/our-staff.
How long have you been a 501(c)3?
Tennessee Kids Belong officially launched in January of 2016. At this time, TKB operated as a State Chapter of national 501(c)3 America’s Kids Belong. 45-5558052. As TKB quickly grew and developed, a board was established and filing to become an independent 501(c)3 took place, which was approved in February 2018. TKB now operates under Tax ID# 82-4703564.
Are you a faith-based entity?
We are not an official faith-based non-profit as we work with government, business, creatives, and faith communities. We do a lot of work within churches- helping train senior leadership on how to engage the congregation to recruit and build sustainable support for foster and adoptive families in the community.
Do you work in all church denominations?
Yes, we do.
Are you a child placing agency?
No, we are not a child placing agency. All inquiries submitted are immediately given to the Department of Children’s Services who will assess the potential match with the child. Please note - the first families who are considered are those with current home studies. If you have not heard back after submitting an inquiry, please email: Karen Chamberlain at Karen.Chamberlain@tn.gov
Can you tell me more about this child I saw on your website?
The only information given out is what is in their bio on the website. The Department of Children’s Services works hard to protect the dignity and confidentiality of each child. Please submit an inquiry online if you would like to be considered as a potential family and learn more about this child.
Do you only focus on adoption?
Our goal is to educate the community in recognizing that the deepest need for children in foster care isn’t adoption; it’s belonging. Whether it’s found with a foster, birth, adoptive, respite or support family, children deserve to have unconditional belonging. That said, 60% of children in TN foster care return home to their birth families. We are constantly working to highlight the beauty of reunification when it is safe for a child.
Do you work with other foster care/adoption related non-profits in the state?
There are so many great nonprofits in this state doing incredible work!
Many are meeting very specific local needs. TKB works on a statewide macro level, equipping leaders in various sectors to make a difference for kids in foster care. We often refer to groups to opportunities and needs that other non profits are meeting. We cheer on others in this space and believe collaboration is key.
I am considering fostering. Where do I go for more information?
Every day we meet more individuals and families who are considering taking the leap to become foster parents. We know you probably have a lot of questions and would need more answers before committing. That’s normal. We have started hosting monthly panels where you can hear from current foster families, social workers, former foster youth. You will get accurate and authentic information, the chance to ask all your hard questions, with zero commitment.
Don’t let the fear of the unknown stop you from moving forward. Check out our blog post here to walk you through what to expect throughout the process. Thinking about fostering?
How can I volunteer?
Occasionally we have opportunities come up where we could use some help. This is often around the times of our monthly I Belong Project™ video shoots. Volunteers could be helpful with organizing new clothing donations, props for the shoot, set up, clean up, etc. Please note that in order to attend a video shoot and work with the children there will be a background check completed, phone interview with one of our staff, and training the day of the event. We have a very limited number of spaces available for these opportunities.
Fill out the Volunteer Form on our website, so we can know how to best utilize your help. We are working throughout the state of TN and will contact you when needs arise
in your area!
Do you have any internships or employment opportunities?
Any employment opportunities will be posted on our social media or www.idealist.org.
We are growing and expanding, so keep checking back!
Current internship opportunities are available in Memphis and Chattanooga areas. Email us your resume at: firstname.lastname@example.org
How can I get my company and employees involved?
We are actively looking for businesses to join us as Business Impact Partners.
Visit : tnkidsbelong.org/business
Am I allowed to share a child’s video on social media?
Yes! Please do. This is the best way for each child to get the exposure they need to find just the right family. It may be one of your friend’s friends who sees the video and makes the decision to inquire about this specific child OR start them on a foster care journey.
What does “available for adoption” mean? Where do the kids live now?
Tennessee Kids Belong has a contract with the Department of Children’s Services to complete videos of children who are available for adoption in TN. What this means- parental rights have been terminated, and at this point, there is not a permanent plan or family identified for the child. Children are often living in group homes or in foster family homes that are unable to keep them long term.
Where do my donations go?
Your continued support will be used to:
Apply cross-sector expertise to unite and engage government, faith, business & creative communities
Form sustainable support systems for foster, adoptive, birth and at-risk families
Host high-quality video shoots for waiting kids proven to increase their chances of adoption
Provide trauma training and resources to churches and businesses to turn TN into the most “Foster Friendly” state in the country!
Lead advocacy & awareness campaigns to turn an invisible issue into a growing initiative
I’ve heard you talk about videos costing $1000 each. What does that cover?
The I Belong Project™ video shoot experience entails a full day with tons of activities to make the children feel comfortable. New clothing, printed photos, frames to decorate, catered lunch for social workers and kids, sports, music, painting, crafts, and games are all a part of the day. Staff travel throughout the state with a production crew to capture the essence of each child’s personality.
Tennessee Kids Belong has a working relationship with the Department of Children’s Services and manages storage, safety, distribution and upkeep of videos on multiple sites. TKB works on recruitment for each child throughout the year through various forms- social media, print, news articles, churches, events, etc.
The $1000 is the approximate cost per child which includes but is not limited to: coordination of shoot events, event day materials, travel, camera crew, production, editing, distribution, storage, online hosting, and recruitment for each child.
How are you funded?
Tennessee Kids Belong is funded through generous individual donors, grants, and foundations who believe in the mission and vision of ensuring every child in TN has a place to belong.
How are you connected to America’s Kids Belong?
America’s Kids Belong (AKB) is a national 501(c)3 organization that mobilizes government, faith-based, business and creative leaders around the goal of permanency and belonging for every child. Combining grassroots and “grass-tops” methods, America’s Kids Belong runs innovative initiatives in states to help ensure that every child is in a loving home by: recruiting more foster and adoptive families, engaging wrap-around support for at-risk, foster & adoptive families along the way, and helping youth who have aged out without a family reach their full potential.
Tennessee was the second state to launch and now operates as an
independent affiliate of AKB. To read more about the America’s Kids Belong