In 2005 ICARE-Tennessee was founded by Susan Dillingham. ICARE-Tennessee’s purpose is to implement the principles and practices of Integrative Youth Development™ (IYD). ICARE-Tennessee promotes the shared responsibility among parents, families, schools, and community members to ensure their kids’ success in school and life. Our work will lead to significant and measurable academic success, civil behavior, racial tolerance, and the reduction of risk behaviors in all the youth with whom we work.


The mission of ICARE-Tennessee is to create caring and connected homes, schools, churches, youth-serving organizations, and communities that empower youth and provide the supports needed in order to increase the success and well-being of every Tennessee youth. ICARE-Tennessee will give Tennesseans, at the local level, the information, tools, and assistance to become intentionally engaged in the shared responsibility for educating children and youth and supporting their healthy development. Through our work schools, community coalitions, faith-based organizations, youth-serving organizations, social service agencies, and private citizens will improve their impact, or the impacts of their organization, to purposely connect with youth.


The goals of the ICARE-Tennessee are four-fold:

1) increase student achievement through connection (connectedness and interconnectedness), support, and opportunities;
2) create caring and connected schools, communities, and families);
3) increase general health and well-being of children/youth and communities; and,
4) reduce pain, loss of opportunity, and wasted lives. (Pain caused through substance use/abuse, teen pregnancy, risky sexual behavior, suicide, bullying/school violence, juvenile court involvement, etc.)

ICARE-Tennessee will provide specific youth engagement activities, promotional efforts, educational seminars, and community presentations that support the seven metric of Integrative Youth Development™.