Prevention and Early Intervention

The Legislature utilized significant federal funding to support eligible prevention programming. Current funding maintained for those programs that did not see increases.

  • Nurse Family Partnerships saw a significant boost in federal funding and will be supported at $18 million per fiscal year All Funds.
  • Home Visiting will also be supported largely by federal funding at around $18 million per year.
  • Community Youth Development was appropriated an additional $1 million which will go toward help provide programming to support youth in zip codes with higher risk of juvenile involvement.
  • $3,050,000 million in allocated funds to be used on a competitively procured established statewide networks of community-based prevention programs that provide evidence-based programs.

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.

Family First Prevention Services Act​

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.

  • FFPSA-eligible prevention services were funded for $9.8 million. These are services that have been approved by the Federal Clearinghouse.
  • HB 3041, a family preservation services pilot, was funded for both the pilot implementation and pilot services (also utilizing FFPSA-eligible services) for a total of $8.9 million.
  • Implementation of the Qualified Residential Treatment Provider (QRTP) Pilot was funded for an $9.9 million. This will allow the state to begin to grow and study the development of QRTPs in the state. 
  • $2.6 million was awarded for Nurse Family Partnerships to expand capacity as allowed under FFPSA. This is in addition to ongoing programming funding.
  • A federal funding loss was anticipated for children in foster care settings not in compliance with FFPSA, which will be made up with state general revenue. This indicates the Legislature is expecting the state will not be able to fully comply with the requirements for residential settings put forth in FFPSA by the deadline of October 2021, and is budgeting for that loss in federal funding.

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 and Kinship Care

Foster care remained a key issue as the Legislature looked to address the ongoing federal foster care lawsuit and a rising capacity crisis.

  • DFPS an HHSC’s request to support the federal foster care lawsuit was fully funded. This includes staff, IT, and monitors fees, but did not address direct care or services.
  • A continuation of funding for awake-night supervision was included in the budget.​
  • Funding for temporary emergency placements to support the capacity crisis was funded at $21 million for the next two years. This funding was included in the passage of SB 1896 and is directed toward keeping kids from sleeping in offices.
  • Rate increases were not included outside of CBC regions (see Community Based Care section).
  • Funding and direction to support the calculation and implementation of a new foster care rate methodology rider was included. The new methodology will include components such as program models and desired outcomes in order to more accurately report on the cost of care.
  • Directs DFPS to prioritize the Permanency Care Assistance program to ensure that children and families are receiving the financial assistance available to support the transition to permanent managing conservatorship.
  • Directs DFPS and HHSC to collaborate to streamline the process for kin to become verified foster families and ensure that children and families are provided with financial assistance, including state and federal funding.

Community Based Care

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.

  • DFPS’ request to fund 4 new catchment areas was fully funded – these regions will be 3e (Dallas) 4 & 5 (East Texas), and 9 (Midland and surrounding counties).
  • The current operating regions (3b – Ft Worth and adjacent counties, 2 – Abilene, 1 – Panhandle, and 8b – counties surrounding Bexar Co.) are funded for current operations and moving to the next phase, if applicable.
  • $34m in additional funding for SSCCs for capacity building to support providers through flexible funding such as rate increases, grants, and incentives.
  • A new Office of Community Based Care Transition implemented under SB 1896 that is a direct report to the Governor was funded.
  • Directs interoperability of data systems between IMPACT and CBC case management systems.

What else?

  • TACFS-supported rider directing HHSC to study the need for and funding of psychiatry services within STAR Health.
  • TACFS-supported rider that directs agencies to streamline oversight of foster care providers and families.
  • Capacity study to offer recommendations on how and where to improve capacity in CBC.
  • Funding to support human trafficking treatment and prevention at DFPS.
  • Directs DFPS to pay out incentives from performance-based contracting as available with collections from penalties.