Tennessee Family Solutions Inc.
831 Seven Oaks Blvd
Smyrna TN 37167
Mission Statement
The mission of Tennessee Family Solutions, Inc. (TFS) is to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities lead safe, stable and personally fulfilling lifestyles in Middle Tennessee communities. In doing so, we seek to maximize community integration.
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Ralph M. Kennedy MBA
Board Chair Mr. Ralph M. Kennedy Father person served
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
History & Background
Year of Incorporation 1999
Organization's type of tax exempt status 501-C3
Financial Summary
Graph: Expense Breakdown Graph - All Years
Projected Expenses $11,214,724.00
Projected Annual Revenue $11,320,539.00 (2018)
The mission of Tennessee Family Solutions, Inc. (TFS) is to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities lead safe, stable and personally fulfilling lifestyles in Middle Tennessee communities. In doing so, we seek to maximize community integration.
Background For many decades in Tennessee, the families of people with severe developmental disabilities and challenging needs that could not be managed at home had little choice but to turn to state-operated Developmental Centers to care for their loved ones. For most people with severe disabilities, there were few, if any community-based alternatives.

In the mid-1990s, the state of Tennessee was challenged in federal court to revamp the way services are provided for people with severe developmental disabilities, resulting in the further downsizing and ultimate closure of the state’s Developmental Centers. Families like the Kennedy’s of Ashland City were understandably anxious. They worried not only that existing community agencies could not adequately meet the needs of their loved one, but also that they might be left out of the process of changing from the old way of providing services to whatever new ways would emerge.

Fortunately, families were consulted, and the state developed policies and practices that recognize the critical role of family members. Ralph and Tracy Kennedy and a small group of like-minded families from Clover Bottom took things a few steps further and TFS was born.
1.  TFS has combined operations in a new office we occupied in December 2017. A major component of the new office structure will be a Specialty Clinic. While we have operated a medical and psychiatric clinic for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities  for some years to the TFS population. We hope to expand what we offer to the community at large so that those with intellectual disabilities might share in the care we have offered to the individuals in our residential program.

1.   Development as a non-profit beyond a reliance on a single funding source is becoming a necessity as State resources are dwindling. TFS grew rapidly during the downsizing of Clover Bottom Developmental Center. The agency must now seek to stabilize operations and obtain other sources of support. This means finding community support for grant writing, fund raising and promoting a community awareness of the resources we offer.  

2.   Donations to a Special Needs fund that supplies a means of purchasing furniture, clothing and medical needs for the individuals coming into the program.
Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer
Paypal link on our website. We do also accept in-kind donations and checks may be mailed to our Nashville Office address. We respond to all donations with acknowledgements and notices of our tax exempt status and the nature of the gift if it is tax deductible.
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Human Services / Developmentally Disabled Services/Centers
Secondary Organization Category Human Services / Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations
Areas of Service
Areas Served
TN - Davidson
TN - Rutherford

1. In Davidson County we operate homes in the Hermitage/Donelson area.

2. In Rutherford County we operate homes in Murfreesboro and Smyrna.

Board Chair Statement
TFS has grown rapidly in our 19 years of existence. The handful of families who transitioned with me from the Parent-Guardian Association of Clover Bottom Developmental Center to the development of a community non-profit provider capable of meeting the needs of our children and others like them, all understood the risks of failure. We had experiences with community placements before and most of them were bad. Clover Bottom was a safe haven for us when community providers were overwhelmed by the requirements of our children's severe disabilities. When the need required it, I stepped in as Executive Director and remained Board President to assure that the functions of both positions were met while we grew. In some ways TFS has become everything we hoped it could be; in other ways we realize how far we have yet to go. Achieving the Mission of an agency like TFS requires finding others, parents, relatives or just sympathetic citizens, who can take up the Mission and carry it forward. As parents, those of us who started the agency were determined to achieve what we set out to do. We desired to have an agency that would always be responsive to the families it served in addition to the special people the families had entrusted to our care. Our challenge for the future, both immediate and long-term, is to cultivate board members and community supporters who will champion the Mission of the agency.
CEO Statement Tennessee Family Solutions, Inc. is a non-profit with a Mission. We seek to develop an alternative to a resource that is no longer available to families in Middle Tennessee, Clover Bottom Developmental Center. Our orientation is the community, but the population we serve consists of those who otherwise would need an institutional level of care. We opened our first Medical Residential home in Murfreesboro in March 2008. The Medical Residential home is a 24 hour a day nursing facility capable of providing residential services to medically fragile persons with intellectual disabilities. We continue to implement a behavioral model of care, the Teaching-Family Model, to serve those with serious behavioral issues. Over 1/2 of the individuals we serve are dual diagnosed; this means that their challenges go beyond permanent Intellectual Disabilities to include Mental Illness. I think it is a given that Tennesseans want services for this population of individuals and their families who have rather desperate needs. The change in the last 20 years is the resource network for services. Once services to the severely disabled were provided primarily by State government. Today, this population receives their services from private agencies who are somewhat dependent on private funding in order to succeed.

In accordance with state policy, each person TFS serves has an Individual Support Plan (ISP) that addresses needs, preferences, and most aspects of daily living.  Through the support planning process, the Circle of Support Team finds out what a “personally fulfilling” lifestyle is for that individual.  The components of that lifestyle are identified, and then become the cornerstones of the programs and services the individual receives.
TFS staff then develop an individualized daily schedule for each person that includes personal care, family-style meals, work or functional activities, health care and therapy, recreation, opportunities for leisure, and more.  TFS staff members provide ever-present supervision, teaching skills and appropriate behaviors as natural opportunities arise throughout the day.

Category Human Services Services for Individuals with Disabilities
Population Served Disabled, General or Disability Unspecified, ,
TFS teaching staff members provide services 24 hours a day, seven days a week in Teaching Family Homes.  At least one teacher is on duty for every two to three individuals during waking hours.  Clinicians that include Teaching-Family Model consultants and health-care specialists provide specialized services and support for the teaching staff.  The people served in TFS’ living arrangements come and go – with ever-present supervision – according to their individualized daily schedules.

Teaching Family Homes:   Most of the people served by TFS receive those services in duplex or separate home settings scattered throughout typical neighborhoods in the communities of Rutherford and Davidson Counties, Tennessee.  These homes are staffed with Teaching Family Couples or single Family Teachers who actually live right next door to the two to three people they serve, and the whole group functions as a family unit.  The couple supervises a small team of assistant teachers (who live off-site) to cover the times the couple is considered off duty.

Medical Residential Homes:  In completing its Mission to serve those who would othewise require an institutional level of care, TFS opened its first 24 hour a day, 7 day a week nursing facility in 2007. These two person living arrangements are located side by side in order to maximize the efficiencies of expensive nursing services. Each individual in these homes must require multiple nursing interventions a day in order to achieve placement in these homes. 
ICF/ID( Intermediate Care Facility for Intellectually Disabled):  The ICF program is our preferred means of serving the medically fragile. We opened our first 4 bed ICF/ID home in 2009. TFS is now operating 4 ICF/ID homes, all of which house individuals being displaced from Clover Bottom Developmental Center, Arlington Developmental or Greene Valley Developmental Centers.
Population Served , ,

Having places to go, performing meaningful work, and participating in enjoyable activities are important parts of a fulfilling lifestyle for most people.  TFS provides an array of day services to give the people we serve opportunities to fully participate in daily living outside the home setting.  TFS day programs encourage community involvement and utilization of existing community resources.  One can see the people TFS serves out in the community every day at parks, coffee shops, shopping centers, concerts and other performing arts events, sporting events, and public places of all sorts.

Category Human Services Services for Individuals with Disabilities
Population Served Disabled, General or Disability Unspecified, ,

A complete array of health support services are delivered at locations in the community according to each person’s needs.  Those individuals living in TFS Medical Residential or ICF/ID homes require a good deal of nursing support on a daily basis. Those served in other homes have varied medical needs and nursing staff assist with healthcare oversight and interventions for clients. TFS has a Medical Director who provides oversight of healthcare for those TFS serves and oversees the operation of a medical clinic TFS operates in Murfreesboro. TFS also operates a psychiatric clinic for a number of individuals with a dual diagnosis who reside in TFS homes. 

Population Served , ,
CEO Comments
TFS is experiencing a reduction in funding from the State of Tennessee. Some of this is a natural result of the waning influence of the federal lawsuits and some is the consequence of a weakened economy. We are responding by expanding our efforts at fundraising and efforts to promote community awareness of our Mission. We are also seeing a shift in the population we will likely be serving in the future. In the past we focused on individuals in transition from public developmental centers. More of the referrals for services we are seeing now consist of younger individuals with severe autism spectrum disorders or older individuals who require an environment capable of handling their continuing medical needs. Because we operate a behavior oriented model of care and have added 24 hour nursing facilities we believe we are well positioned to meet the needs of these populations. I anticipate in the future we will likely be working more with school systems to meet the needs of young individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorders.
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Ralph M. Kennedy Father person served
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Term Feb 2018 to Jan 2019
Email ralph.kennedy@nashvilletfs.org
Board Members
Ms. Julia Barnes Parent, disbled childCommunity VolunteerVoting
Mr. Tim Glut AttorneyCommunity VolunteerVoting
Ms. Kerri L. Harwood PhD., Special EducationCommunity VolunteerVoting
Ms. Penny Hooper Parent, person servedCommunity VolunteerVoting
Mr. Gary Mumme Community VolunteerVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 6
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 3
Female 3
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 70%
Does the organization have written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Does the organization have a written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage of Board Members making Monetary Contributions 0%
Percentage of Board Members making In-Kind Contributions 0%
Does the Board include Client Representation? No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 11
Standing Committees
Risk Management Provisions
Commercial General Liability and D and O and Umbrella or Excess and Automobile and Professional
General Property Coverage and Professional Liability
Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability
Risk Management Provisions
Medical Health Insurance
Additional Board Members
Mrs. Shelly Cole Pharmacy Operations MgrDel-Mar Pharmacy
Mr. Bradley Hickerson Person Served
Ms. Penny Hooper Mother of Person ServedCommunity Volunteer
Mr. Steve Hooper Father, person servedCommunity Volunteer
Ms. Kristy Jo Timmerman ChairmanComunity Volunteer
Mr. Jeff Wright Psychologist
Mrs. Katherine Wright RN
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Mr. Ralph M. Kennedy MBA
Term Start Sept 2002
Email ralph.kennedy@nashvilletfs.org

Ralph M. Kennedy


Jack C. Massey Graduate School of Business, Belmont University, Nashville, TN

¨       Graduated May 1995

¨       Degree conferred: Masters in Business Administration

Nashville State Technical Institute, Nashville, TN

¨       Graduated: June 1985

¨       Degree conferred: Associate of Science in Computer Technology

Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA

¨       Graduated: cum laude, July 1976

¨       Degree Conferred: BA, History


September 2002 - Present:  Executive Director, CEO, Tennessee Family Solutions, Inc.

¨       Oversee operations and growth of a non-profit that delivers residential and day services to individuals with severe and profound levels of intellectual disability. I continue to serve as President of the Board of Directors while also serving as CEO. 

November 1999 – September 2002: Operations Manager, NOM Inc.

¨       Manage a service team of technicians that provides support for computer networks, copier, fax, printer, typewriter business for an office solutions company in Nashville, TN.

¨       Responsible for maintenance contracts, rental quotes, personnel issues, handling all of the service issues for the dealership.

January 1998 – November 1999: District Service Manager, Bayer Corporation, Diagnostics Division

¨       Responsible for management of a four-state service district.

November 1987-December 1997: Field Engineer, Bayer Corporation, Diagnostics Division

¨       Primary duties are installation and service of clinical chemistry and hematology blood analyzers. This requires a working knowledge of clinical laboratory methods and procedures, and an in-depth understanding of the electronics, pneumatics, hydraulics, and computer interface associated with the instrumentation.  

Full Time Staff 218
Part Time Staff 88
Volunteers 0
Contractors 10
Retention Rate 61%
Plans & Policies
Does the organization have a documented Fundraising Plan? No
Does the organization have an approved Strategic Plan? Under Development
Number of years Strategic Plan Considers 1
When was Strategic Plan adopted? Nov 2014
In case of a change in leadership, is a Management Succession plan in place? Under Development
Does the organization have a Policies and Procedures Plan? Yes
Does the organization have a Nondiscrimination Policy? Yes
American National Red Cross2000
Affiliate/Chapter of National Organization (i.e. Girl Scouts of the USA, American Red Cross, etc.) - Affiliate/chapter2006
External Assessments and Accreditations
External Assessments and Accreditations
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) - Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments Accreditation2017
Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities2017
Certified Teaching-Family AgencyInternational Teaching-Family Association2017
Senior Staff
Title Executive Director
CEO Comments  TFS, like other non-profit social service organizations faces challenges. The two we wrestle with on a daily basis are funding and staffing. In an effort to supplement our revenue stream, TFS has expanded our outreach to the community at large thru multiple means, including Giving Matters. In addition, TFS has worked to reduce its costs from taxes and interest expense. TFS has increased Direct Support Professional salaries in the last year and seeks to be competitive with its peer agencies in providing good wages.
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start July 01 2017
Fiscal Year End June 30 2018
Projected Revenue $11,320,539.00
Projected Expenses $11,214,724.00
Endowment Spending Percentage (if selected) 0%
Detailed Financials
Revenue and ExpensesHelpFinancial data for prior years is entered by foundation staff based on the documents submitted by nonprofit organizations.Foundation staff members enter this information to assure consistency in the presentation of financial data across all organizations.
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Revenue$11,532,368$11,503,965$11,804,746
Total Expenses$10,988,901$11,123,048$11,145,792
Revenue Less Expenses$543,467$380,917$658,954
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$9,223,205$9,342,699$9,458,614
Administration Expense$1,765,696$1,780,349$1,687,178
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates--$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.051.031.06
Program Expense/Total Expenses84%84%85%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$13,836,997$13,530,974$13,683,918
Current Assets$3,284,259$3,659,180$3,485,733
Long-Term Liabilities$239,683$7,782,954$8,239,653
Current Liabilities$9,133,727$1,827,900$1,905,062
Total Net Assets$4,463,587$3,920,120$3,539,203
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities0.362.001.83
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets2%58%60%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountProgram Revenue $11,514,620Program Revenue $11,495,847Program Revenue $11,774,826
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountOther Revenue $10,050Contributions, Gifts and Grants $4,690Miscellaneous Revenue $17,655
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, Gifts and Grants $7,698Program Revenue $3,428Contributions, Gifts & Grants $12,265
IRS Letter of Exemption
Capital Campaign
Is the organization currently conducting a Capital Campaign for an endowment or the purchase of a major asset? No
Capital Campaign Goal $0.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
TN Charitable Solicitations Registration Yes - Expires Dec 2018
Solicitations Permit
2018 Soliciation License
GivingMatters.com Financial Comments
Financials figures taken from 990.
Financial documents prepared by Crosslin & Associates, P.C.
Comments provided by Kathryn Bennett 5/14/18.
Nonprofit Tennessee Family Solutions Inc.
Address 831 Seven Oaks Blvd
Smyrna, TN 37167
Primary Phone (615) 255-8870
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Ralph M. Kennedy MBA
Board Chair Mr. Ralph M. Kennedy Father person served
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Year of Incorporation 1999