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Relative Caregiver Program

The University of Tennessee Relative Caregiver Program (RCP) is an option available for relatives to care for non-custodial children who require out-of-home care.  Children and relative caregivers receive supportive services geared toward self-sufficiency and stability to ensure the child is able to stay within the family instead of entering foster care.  The Department of Children's Services (DCS) is not involved.  The family does not receive a monthly stipend through the program, but rather has access to several other opportunities to support them. The program first launched in the Shelby, Davidson and Upper Cumberland regions, and was implemented statewide in 2006.  More information is available at the Tennessee Department of Children's Services website.

  • Family Advocacy/Short-term Case Management
  • Youth and Teen Activity Groups
    • GEMS (Girls ages 6-18)
    • HEROES (Boys ages 6-18)
    • YEP!
  • Emergency One-time Financial or Start-up Assistance
  • Educational Workshops
  • Information and Referral
  • Caregiver Respite and Enrichment
  • Caregiver Support Groups
  • Material Assistance
Caregiver Support Groups

April 2022 Update: Support Groups are currently held via conference call each 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Thursday of the month from 11am to 12pm. To join, call 1-530-881-111 and enter 360645#. 

The following in -person groups will resume in May.


  • Whitehaven Branch Library, 4120 Millbranch, Memphis, TN, 38116
    First Thursday each month, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm


  • Mount Vernon Baptist Church, 620 Parkrose, Memphis
    Second Thursday each month 11:00 am - 12:30 pm


  • Center on Developmental Disabilities, 239 South Dudley Street, Memphis, TN 38104
    Third Thursday each month 11:00 am - 12:30 pm


For assistance, please contact Amira Randolph at (901) 448-0286.

Volunteer Opportunities

This component of the Memphis and Shelby County Relative Caregiver Program is designed to facilitate the social development of adolescents participating in the program. Volunteers are encouraged to assist youth with long-term and short-term goal setting, as well as participate in structured and unstructured recreation activities.  Volunteers must complete and pass a background check.

Volunteers must demonstrate the following as qualifications:

  • Interest and concern for young people
  • Desire and ability to work with at-risk youth
  • Basic sensitivity to challenges youth in RCP face
  • Patience and perseverance
  • Reliability and dependability
  • Must be at least 18 years of age

Volunteers are needed in the following areas:

  • Children and Teens Groups which occur on the 3rd Saturday of each month
  • Summer Recreational Activities such as skating, movies, and field days
  • During events such as our Holiday Celebration, Hearts of Gold, and Mega Support Group
  • During "whole family events" which occur during spring months

For more information, please visit the program websites for GEMS, HEROS, and YEP!

Links and Resources

Local Resources/Partners

Other State RCP programs


May 26, 2022