Meet Sara Underwood, State Coordinator for the Community Resource Coordination Group Office within the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s Medical and Social Services Division, Office of Mental Health Coordination. Since 2018, Sara has taken the lead on collaboration between Community Resource Coordination Groups (CRCGs) across Texas. As a new partner and friend of TACFS, we are honored to share the details of how CRCGs are serving to meet the complex needs of our most vulnerable children, youth and families across the state.
Community Resource Coordination Groups (CRCGs) are county-based groups of local partners and community members that work with parents, caregivers, youth and adults with complex needs to identify and coordinate services and supports.
For going on two and a half years, Sara has been spearheading this community-based initiative to help those whose needs cannot be met by one single agency and who would benefit from interagency coordination. This approach to community-based collaboration allows for at-risk youth and families to connect with essential services such as behavioral health care, basic needs and caregiver support through multiple agencies working together.
“CRCGs have been successful as long as they have because it’s been a consistent platform for people to collaborate, connect, and share resources. Even amid COVID-19, CRCGs are collaborating to meet the same complex needs of children and families online.”– Sara Underwood
CRCGs bring together stakeholders in the community to address the full continuum of care for any child, youth or family. Local mental health organizations, housing authorities, school districts and counselors, parole officers, and faith based organizations, for example, have been working together under the structure provided by CRCGs to keep children and families safe and united.
As an initiative that’s been active in Texas since the 1980s, CRCGs are tied through a joint memorandum that’s founded on the principles of supporting children, youth, and families through interagency collaboration, connection to services and supports, and identification of gaps and barriers to services and supports in their communities.