We hear all the time from our friends at Zero To Three and our Statewide SBC Leadership Team that “data tells a story.” I totally agree and am thrilled to share the State of Tennessee Safe Baby Courts Annual Report from 2020. As you can see in this report, Knox County is continuing to serve more and more families on a yearly basis. Additional data points shared by Helen Ross McNabb in our Stakeholder Meeting are that, on average, parents report an 87% improvement in protective factors after their involvement in SBC and that 93% of parents report decreased trauma symptoms. Further 100% of our graduates have stable housing and over 70% have stable employment at the time of case closure.
As we all know, 2020 was a year like no other and while the data tells a piece of our story, the true impact of our work can be told by the people we help and the lives of children and families that are impacted by Safe Baby Court and it’s partners. As we round out year three of Safe Baby Court, I continue to be proud of how our program evolves to meet the needs of our families and adapts to the changing climate of our community. Our work through 2020 really epitomizes that evolution. Amid the pandemic and all the stress that this year brought, Safe Baby Court and our Knox County partners acted quickly to make sure our families needs continued to be met. From food boxes to wellness bags, we found ourselves supporting parents and caregivers in new and different ways. We seamlessly transitioned to virtual platforms for court and meetings and while we feared much would be lost without in person interactions, everyone continued to show up and be present while maintaining our focus on our children’s permanency. We worked creatively to promote parent-child contact and to support ongoing reunification efforts wherever possible. We celebrated our first adoptions and many successful graduations and I couldn’t be prouder of the work of our Safe Baby staff and our community partners throughout 2020.