Resources & Insights

Latest Projects

Current Projects

Heart Galleries of Texas

Heart Galleries of Texas is a statewide collaborative effort to find positive permanency for Texas children and youth. Each day, more than 6,000 children in the Texas foster care system want to be adopted and find a permanent place to call home. Heart Galleries tell a child’s story through photographs capturing the spirit, individuality, interests, and unique needs of each child. This helps connect them to caring families and community networks.

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Conference Heart Gallery

Child-Focused Adoption Recruitment Across Texas

The Adoption Recruitment Collaborative team is partnering with the Dave Thomas for Adoption Foundation to help expand it’s Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program across Texas to find adoptive homes for children most at risk of aging out of foster care without a family.
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adoption recruitment collaborative

Kinship Care Fund

As of July 2021, 39% of children in the foster care system are being supported by their aunts, uncles, grandparents and family friends. Kinship caregivers play an absolutely vital role in the safety net for vulnerable young Texans, making it especially important that they have the resources they need. 

This fund will be used to help meet financial and resource needs, and to help families overcome barriers to become verified homes in order to receive ongoing support.

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two person making gingerbread house and three children watching them

Family Resource Center Initiative

The Texas Center for Child & Family Studies (the Center) is partnering with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) division to sustainably implement a Family Resource Center Initiative with PEI selected grantees. Through training, technical assistance, and programmatic leadership, the Center seeks to advance PEI’s vision to grow FRC programming and practices that support families and communities to be strong, healthy, and successful reducing the likelihood of child maltreatment through research-based protective factors.

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Family Resource Center Initiative

Building Bridges Initiative

Building Bridges (BBI) is a national initiative identifying and advancing best practice and policy for youth and families receiving residential interventions.  BBI creates strong partnerships between families, youth, residential and community service organizations, and policy makers to ensure high-quality supports and services.  BBI’s goals are to reduce readmissions to residential settings, strengthen youth and family engagement in treatment planning, and sustain long-term positive life outcomes. for youth and families receiving residential interventions. Expanding BBI throughout Texas will create better futures for vulnerable Texas children, youth, and families, and provide a clear roadmap for future policy and funding considerations.

For more information, updates and tools relevant to Building Bridges Initiative Texas, visit our website launched in August 2021.

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Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Youth (CSEY)

In partnership with the Office of the Governor’s Child Sex Trafficking Team, The Texas Center for Child and Family Studies is helping to build sustainable capacity and improve the quality of care at emergency and long-term residential placements identifying and responding to commercially sexually exploited youth (CSEY), or youth at-risk of CSE through trauma-responsive training and technical assistance, clinical support, and program evaluation efforts.  Project activities are focused specifically around CSEY best practice for clinicians and direct care staff, building capacity for new or improved specialized services for this population, organizational policies and procedures, and program-level improvement. As the need for these services grow, our team works to continuously identify potential gaps and determine what supports are needed to serve this vulnerable population.

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Texas Children’s Commission

The Texas Children’s Commission is using funds from a Federal Court Improvement Program grant to staff a continuous quality improvement (CQI) analyst to support the judiciary’s efforts at improving permanency outcomes for children and youth in foster care. Our CQI analyst is using court and child welfare data to inform the judiciary about child protection systems at both statewide and local levels, in addition to providing data analysis support on special projects and assisting courts in embedding continuous quality improvement into court processes.

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Texas Permanency Outcomes Project (TXPOP)

In partnership with the University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Institute for Child and Family Well Being and in collaboration with the federal Children’s Bureau, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, and the Children’s Commission, the Texas Permanency Outcomes Project (TXPOP) is developing sustainable best practices, tools and resources to be utilized by child welfare agencies and professionals across Texas to connect children to their birth families, regardless of their permanency outcome.

TXPOP is refocusing practice, strengthening the workforce, and transforming how systems treat families and children within foster care.

Vision: The TXPOP vision is to build shared power with children and families to reinvent foster care. Creating authentic relationships between all parties involved in child welfare (youth, their families and everyone naturally connect to them, foster families, caseworkers, judges) will improve permanency outcomes and strengthen families.

Pilot Region: DFPS Regions 2, 6 and 11

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Past Projects

Emergency Preparedness Training

In partnership with Rebuild Texas, the Center staff developed Emergency Preparedness Training courses available to foster parents and child welfare professionals seeking to further their education and earn CEU credits. Participants who attend the training learn tips on how to prepare their families and communities for natural disasters, lessons learned from survivors of Hurricane Harvey, and how to develop internal resilience to combat compassion fatigue. Please visit our online learning center to take the course. Certificates are automatically submitted with course completion.

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