In late 2017, a kickoff meeting was convened by Judge Irwin to announce the rollout of Safe Baby Court in Knox County. This initial meeting set the tone for the involvement of Stakeholders in this initiative. The group met for a full day and was comprised of child welfare agency staff, local government administrators, health care providers, mental health professionals, substance abuse treatment providers, early intervention specialists, foster care agencies, child and family advocates, other community leaders and more.
Over the last 2 years, our community involvement and partnership engagement has increased tremendously and we continue to find new partners regularly that want to engage in our efforts to serve this population and support the work we are doing. We now have an established multidisciplinary Stakeholder Team that meets quarterly. The Stakeholder Team reviews SBC data, identifies gaps in services and discusses the issues and patterns raised by cases that are currently enrolled in SBC and that may reflect trends in the community at large. It is abundantly clear that the Knoxville community is one that wants to help and the potential for cross-sector collaboration to meet the needs of our most vulnerable community members is endless.