Children's Services


 Brain Links YouTube Channel  Explore this playlist that was specifically created for the Department of Children's Services.

Looking for more?  Check out the "Helpful Resources" section for additional information and materials in English & in Español.

Brain Injury and Child Welfare: Best Practice Guide

The child welfare system is complex, and procedures vary widely from state to state. While designed to promote the well-being of children by ensuring safety, permanency, and family cohesiveness, there are multiple entities involved with numerous program regulations and legislative mandates.

Below is a section that dives deeper into the webinar, materials and what other states are doing regarding Child Welfare

Age Specific Patient Educational Tools:

Brain Injury in Young Children: Refer to this tool to learn more about the signs and symptoms and the effects of multiple brain injuries for children under age five. English and in Español.



Older Child's Signs & Symptoms: Refer to this tool to learn more about health problems, behavior changes, thinking difficulties, and communication changes associated with concussions, as well as when to reconsult a doctor. English and in Español.




Adult Signs & Symptoms Tool: English and in Español.






Recognizing Concussion in People Who Communicate Without Words: English and in Español.





When Concussion Symptoms Are Not Going Away: Signs, symptoms and danger signs, plus what to look for over time and where/how to seek help for symptoms that aren't going away. Contact us for more information:

For Parents of Children Five and Under. English and in Español.


For Parents of School-Aged Children. English and in Español.






For Adults. English and in Español.






Six Types of Concussion Infographic & Fact Sheet Brain Links developed a useful summary for the back of an easy to understand infographic created by ReThink Concussions at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Department of Children's Services (DCS) Youtube Playlist A helpful collection of videos outlining information about TBI in children, returning to learn & play, and more.


Personal Guide for Everyday Living:  A tool to help people with TBI (especially mild TBI) better understand what conditions make things harder and what the person can do about it. Best if used as part of a conversation with the clinician.  English and in Español.



Symptom Tracker Track Symptoms, pain level changes, what provokes and what helps. Good information to take back to the healthcare provider.



Evidence-based Concussion Management Protocol 2023 Recommendation: 2 Visit Minimum.

A tool to guide screening, patient education, referral and ongoing monitoring. Outcomes are better if educational materials are given at the first visit.

** Use the Protocol with the TBI Toolkit for Health Care Providers

** Explore this YouTube Video to learn more about the Protocol and other resources.

Material Rationale  ~~~  Research Support

TN Concussion Fact Sheet for Parents Created from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) materials.





TN/CDC Playground Safety This sheet will help you learn how to spot a concussion and protect your child from concussion or other serious brain injury each time you take your child on an outdoor play adventure.





Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury: Information For Familiesis a compilation of four brief, helpful video clips and several state and national websites. This resource can be viewed by families while at the hospital or anyone needing to better understand this injury and where to learn more. These videos are also captioned.

Things to Watch For Over Time This sheet will help you learn what symptoms to keep an eye out for after a concussion.


TBI in the Youth Justice SystemTBI in the Youth Justice System Infographic.





Symptom Tracker Tool Track Symptoms, pain level changes, what provokes and what helps. Good information to take back to the healthcare provider.





Concussion-Brain Injury Alert & Monitoring Form For use in academic, school nurse or case manager file to serve as a reminder of the TBI. Also alerts others who may start working with the child.





Brainstorming Solutions Tool Helpful template for gathering information on person's skills and challenges to facilitate development of solutions. Great for direct service providers, students and new hires.





Strategies & Accommodations Tool Use the Brainstorming Solutions Tool (BST) first, to help you figure out the person’s strengths and weaknesses. Then use this tool (SAT) to check off the strategies that might be helpful for each area you identify on the BST. When possible, complete this form with the person served and discuss the strategies with them. Ask the person if there are other strategies or ways of communicating with them that might be helpful.




Nurse's Concussion Screening Checklist Adapted by Brain Links with permission from the CDC.






Nursing in Non-School Settings:  On intake (and possibly yearly) the HELPS Brain Injury Screening Tool  or consider adding questions to your current intake form.







For School Nurses: If an injury is suspected (ie student just fell), recommend using the CDC's Concussion Signs and Symptoms Checklist for School Nurses.





TN TBI Services Directory & Resource Information Guide The Tennessee Department of Health Traumatic Brain Injury Service Directory and Resource Information Guide was designed to assist in locating programs, organizations, agencies, and services available across the state of Tennessee and the nation.






A Guide To Possible Changes After Brain Injury: For Young Children Ages 7 and Under. This guide was designed to help parents and caregivers watch for changes that may follow a brain injury in young children. Changes after brain injury may happen even years after a child’s treatment ends, whether they completed rehabilitation, stayed at the hospital, etc. This guide addresses changes and gives tips for keeping your child’s brain healthy throughout their life. Keep this guide handy in case there are questions or concerns. You may never need this, but it will be helpful if your child does develop challenges. PDF in English.  Document Rationale



A Guide To Possible Changes After Brain Injury: For School-Aged Children & Adults.  By design, the Guide is best when distributed by rehabilitation personnel in inpatient and outpatient therapy programs and by medical personnel in trauma units, pediatrician’s offices, family practices, neurology offices, surgical offices, and other specialty offices. It is meant to be given to anyone who has sustained a diagnosed brain injury, as well as anyone who sustained a significant trauma where they may experience brain injury symptoms and downstream consequences; even if they do not show early symptoms or early symptoms seem to have cleared. English and in Español.  Document Rationale



Job Accommodations Network a publication detailing accommodations for individuals with limitations related to executive functioning. These ideas may be helpful in determining accommodations.





Return to Learn/Return to Play Concussion Management Guidelines 2020These guidelines are designed for sport and non-sport related concussions. The document includes information regarding concussions/TBIs, as well as information about returning to learn and play at home, school, and the field after a concussion. In 2013, the state of Tennessee passed the Tennessee Sports Concussion Law designed to educate coaches, athletes, and families about concussions, remove athletes who appear to have a concussion, and require clearance by a licensed health care provider before returning to play.



504/IEP Accommodations & Modifications in the Classroom for a Student with a TBI Each section is broken down into helpful categories - developed by the Center on Brain Injury Research & Training (CBIRT).



Returning to a Program After a Concussion Letter This letter offers input from a healthcare provider with experience in treating concussion, a type of traumatic brain injury. This letter helps program providers and their caregivers support people returning to an adult program after a concussion. Use these recommendations to make decisions about support based on his or her specific needs. Most people will only need short-term support as they recover from a concussion.




CDC Letter: Returning to School After a Concussion








CDC Factsheet for School Professionals: Returning to School After a Concussion







Brain Health

Brain Health: How to Have a Healthy Brain Throughout Life By design provides research-based tips for creating a healthy brain, regardless of age. This guide was originally developed to help people with brain injuries recover to the fullest extent possible and to help them prevent or minimize potential negative changes as they age. However, it was quickly realized that the information in Brain Health is beneficial for everyone.  English and in Español.




 Brain Links YouTube Playlist on Brain Health

Brain Injury and Child Welfare: Best Practice Guide by the TBI Technical Assistance Resource Center (TARC) and the Administration for Community Living (ACL) TBI Program.

The child welfare system is complex, and procedures vary widely from state to state. While designed to promote the well-being of children by ensuring safety, permanency, and family cohesiveness, there are multiple entities involved with numerous program regulations and legislative mandates.
Conversely, brain injuries are often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed within the child welfare system, which creates challenges for providers on the prevalence and complications of this issue and related symptoms. Also, there are parents/caregivers who have experienced one or more brain injuries in their lifetime that are suspected to have committed child abuse or neglect of children in their care. Recognizing the symptoms of brain injury will enable child welfare professionals to provide appropriate support for children and parents/caregivers with a brain injury.
This webinar will introduce the intersection of the child welfare system and how brain injury state systems can collaborate to meet the needs of family and children involved with that system. Guide contributors from ACL’s State Partnership Program Child Welfare Workgroup will share elements from The Best Practice Guide: Information and Tools for State Agencies and will discuss a variety of resources and tools to utilize to positively impact state welfare systems.


2021 TN Department of Children's Services and Brain Links Summer Webinar Series:  Moving Forward Together: Return to School Summit.  The series is for parents, caregivers, community members and professionals. 

Recommendation - watch the archived video recording before accessing the PowerPoint file.

"Impact of the Pandemic on Families"  Follow this link to watch the YouTube Recording & PowerPoint

"Intersections of Mental Health and Suicide"  Follow this link to to watch the YouTube video & PowerPoint

"Building Resiliency through Brain Health"   Follow this link to watch the YouTube video. & PowerPoint

"Putting the Pieces Together: Panel and Q&A"  Follow this link to to watch the Youtube video 

RESOURCEStrategies for Moving Forward Together: Return to School Series