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Latest Projects

Current Projects

Building Bridges Initiative

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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.

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Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Youth (CSEY)

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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

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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 Foster Youth Health Initiative

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The Texas Foster Youth Health Initiative (TFYHI) is a partnership with the University of Texas Steve Hicks School of Social Work’s Institute for Child and Family Wellbeing.  This project brings together child welfare and adolescent health systems to design innovative strategies that promote optimal health for child welfare-involved youth.  The TFYHI supports a multidisciplinary network of community partners to develop and test cutting-edge sexual health interventions for youth and their caregivers, and work to increase capacity in organizations and communities.  The TFYHI supports efforts in San Antonio, Dallas, the Rio Grande Valley, and Houston.  The main goal is for youth in foster care to feel connected, safe, and empowered to make informed decisions about their sexual health.

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Texas Permanency Outcomes Project (TXPOP)

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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

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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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