The Chambliss Center for Children provides two types of services to the residents of Chattanooga. We are licensed as a Child Placing Agency, which allows us to serve children and youth who have been removed from their families and placed in the custody of the State of Tennessee.
We have an on-site group home, which can serve up to eight youth at any one time. Additional children are cared for in foster homes. These youth are classified either dependent/neglected or delinquent. At any time we could be caring for about 30 children from infants to 18-year-olds in this residential program. Our objective is to either help return the child/youth to their biological family or, if the state terminates parental rights, find an adoptive home for them.
The agency also has a Transitional Living Program, which provides stable housing and case management for youth who have aged out of traditional foster care at age 18 and have chosen to participate in Extension of Foster Care (EFC) services in the state of Tennessee.
24-7-365 Early Childhood Education & Childcare
The second program operated by the Chambliss Center for Children is our 24-7-365 Early Childhood Education & Childcare program. This program provides quality early education to low-income, at-risk children. Most of these children live in single-parent households. We charge on a sliding fee scale with our average fee being about $70 a week.
This program is licensed for more than 350 children on our main campus from 6 weeks of age to 12 years of age. Each year our program graduates 68 children to public kindergarten classrooms. Based on our assessments, we know that 100% of those children have the skills they need to be successful in school. We provide school-age children before and after school services during the school year and a summer camp when school is out. We serve children 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, providing services to first shift, second shift, third shift and weekend workers. We have had a Three Star rating (the highest awarded by the state) since the rating system was started.
off-site Early Childhood Education programs
As an extension of our main program, Chambliss Center for Children also manages five off-site Early Childhood Education programs located throughout the Chattanooga community. Before becoming part of our agency, these entities struggled because they were all serving low income, at-risk children and could not charge a large enough fee to sustain their operation. Chambliss Center worked with the Board of Directors of these agencies and established a management agreement to operate the programs.
Our administrative staff do all the back office work, and our program staff manage the day-to-day operations of these five centers. This collaboration model has received national recognition as a stable financial and management model for early childhood networks. These programs collectively serve about 300 children from 6 weeks to Kindergarten. They use the same sliding fee scale as our main campus. These off-site programs send another 25 children to public Kindergarten classrooms each year, bringing a total of more than 90 children entering school with the tools and skills they need to succeed.
Childcare for Children of hamilton county Teachers
Finally, we also provide early childhood education and care programs for the children of teachers in 12 public schools throughout the community. This program has helped reduce turnover rates for new teachers from 49% to under 10% in the schools where our classrooms are located. We feel this is helping keep good teachers in the classrooms where the children in our EECE program will ultimately attend.