What we do

The Hamilton County Children’s Cabinet provides a space for governmental agencies and community stakeholders to coordinate supports and services, develop common goals, share and compare data and address gaps or duplications in resources. This platform ultimately equips our leaders to craft better policies and decisions, which, in turn, allow the programs and services they govern to have a greater impact on children and youth.



Align public and nonprofit sectors to the whole-child needs of children and youth


Individual student success planning 

The Children’s Cabinet supports the school district’s pilot of Student Success Plans across 14 Hamilton County schools. Like a roadmap, personalized Student Success Plans identify and connect students to basics they need like food, housing, and healthcare, as well as high-quality after-school and summer experiences, mentoring and internships.

Student Success Plans were piloted in the 2019-2020 school year to expand to all schools in the future. The Children’s Cabinet works with the school district to identify and address the needs of students identified through the Student Success Plan process.

The Hamilton County Children’s Cabinet is working to expand the Individual Student Success Planning pilot to all Hamilton County schools, elevating student strengths and needs in academic, health, social, and family domains.


Discipline and mental health, whether depression, anxiety or other issues, are growing concerns for educators and community members alike. Law enforcement and medical officials agree that mental health is one of the top issues facing children and young adults and the schoolhouse is one of the best places for those issues to be identified and for students to be supported. The Hamilton County Children’s Cabinet hosted a roundtable discussion through Chattanooga’s partnership with the The Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Education Redesign Lab and its By All Means consortium. The Cabinet continues to work with school and county officials to align budgets and resources to address these issues.


Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)– Our workgroup has supported and trained a cross-sector of community stakeholders on the impact toxic stress has on children through adulthood, trauma-informed care, and methods for strengthening families. To request an ACEs presentation for your group or organization, please email earlymatterschatt@gmail.com.

COVID-19 Response

As a new entity, the cabinet quickly became the hub of coordination to meet the needs of children and families during the pandemic. This function included weekly calls among members including from the City of Chattanooga, Hamilton County, and members of the business and non-profit communities — to identify real-time needs, gaps, and resources across the community, from meals to internet to school to health. For example, they quickly stood up the Hamilton County Digital Fund to provide hotspots, public WIFI, devices and more to counter digital learning loss.

Community Schools

Community schools address the needs that come into play before students ever step into the classroom — basic needs such as hot meals and access to health care — which research shows the lack of has a toxic effect on student success. Hamilton County Schools has community schools in Hixson Middle, Red Bank Elementary/Middle/High, Soddy Daisy Middle, and Sale Creek Middle/High School. The Children’s Cabinet is working to establish community schools at every high need school in Hamilton County, providing wraparound supports as well as family and community engagement.


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