The Legislature utilized significant federal funding to support eligible prevention programming. Current funding maintained for those programs that did not see increases.
Two flagship prevention programs HOPES and FAYS did not see increases. However, grants were recently awarded to support FAYS, and additional federal funding may be available for community prevention programs through federal COVID relief funding.
The Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 (FFPSA) represents the most significant federal child welfare reform in over two decades. Thee law provides a new stream of federal funding to states for children at imminent risk of entering foster care by increasing access to critical services for children and their caregivers. In order to decrease the use of congregate care, it additionally restricts funding for certain settings. Texas faces a deadline of October 2021 for implementation of FFPSA before it begins to lose funding.
The Family First Transition Act passed in 2019, and Texas was awarded around $50 million, utilized in the budget to help resource implementation.
In addition to the funding above, a budget rider was passed to direct DFPS and HHSC to coordinate in order to better identify and track human trafficking victims, or those at risk of human trafficking, and other populations exempted under FFPSA, and facilities serving those populations. Those populations also include family group foster homes, supervised independent living, pregnant and parenting teens, and family-based residential treatment for substance use disorders.
Foster care remained a key issue as the Legislature looked to address the ongoing federal foster care lawsuit and a rising capacity crisis.
Community Based Care (CBC) was passed in 2017, and takes a regional, community-driven approach to building capacity and driving positive outcomes. It is gradually rolling out across Texas, currently in various stages of implementation in 4 regions in Texas.