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Linda Begg

Derek, Ethan and Racheal were neglected in their birth home. Because of this, the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS) approached the children’s grandparents about adopting them. Linda and her husband Alan did not hesitate to take in their grandchildren. They asked that as part of the adoption, the children be guaranteed TennCare health insurance so that the mental health scars left by their previous home could be treated and start healing. DCS agreed at first, but then the agency began to equivocate and reverse its position, threatening one of the children’s access to health care.

Linda contacted TJC. A Client Advocate at TJC accompanied Linda to the Child and Family Team Meeting where the adoption terms were discussed. TJC then followed up with the local DCS office to ensure that TennCare coverage would be included as part of the adoption agreement. Linda said this was monumental, “Knowing that there are people out there, like the folks at TJC, who care enough to go to bat with you and support you and see that you get the care- that’s the key.” Linda’s perseverance, along with TJC’s intervention, won TennCare coverage for the children and made it possible for the adoption to go through. In December, 2010, Derek, Ethan, and Racheal were officially adopted by their grandparents. All three children now receive regular mental health care, vital to their well-being.

Photo Credit: Stacey Irvin

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