Legislative Information

FAMILY FIRST ACT

The Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 represents the most significant federal child welfare reform in over two decades. The provisions of the Family First Act are intended to prevent entries to foster care, reduce the use of group care placements in favor of family-like settings, and promote kinship care. 

Prevention Services Funding

The Family First Act establishes a strong federal emphasis on funding services (for substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment, or in-home parent training) to divert children at imminent risk of removal from entering foster care. The federal funding available for prevention services under the Family First Act is restricted, however, to services designated by the federal government as evidence-based according a rigorous systematic review process for assessing research and assigning evidence ratings. 

The Family First Act is scheduled for implementation in Texas in 2021. To help the state prepare for implementation of the law, TACFS is working with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), and Casey Family Programs to conduct a survey assessing the current availability of services that are likely to be fundable, and to determine where service gaps may exist and the potential barriers for agencies to become compliant with the new federal standards. The survey is currently live and will remain open until August 16 click here to take the survey if your agency provides mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, or parent training services and you have not already received the link.

Qualified Residential Treatment Programs

Under the Family First Act, there will be new requirements for which foster care placement types are eligible for federal funding. In order to encourage more placements in family-like settings, and to address concerns about over-reliance on group residential care, the law creates requirements for qualified residential treatment programs (QRTPs). Residential treatment centers, emergency shelters, or other general residential operations in Texas will have to be designated as a Qualified Residential Treatment Program (QRTP) for the state to use federal funds for foster care maintenance payments in the future. To be a designated QRTP, the placement must be accredited, use a trauma-informed model, and have licensed or registered staff, be inclusive of the child's family in planning and programming, and have a plan for after-care for at least 6 months upon a childs discharge from the placement. 

Kinship Navigator Programs

Funding under the Family First Act can also be used to implement kinship navigator programs, which are meant to provide enhanced support for relative caregivers to meet the needs of children placed in their care. 

Family first Act Resources

Family First Resource Center

Handbook of Standards and Procedures

Federal Family First Bill

DFPS Family First Website 

CO Family First Act: A Road Map to the Future

COA Family First Act Resource Center

Title IV- E Prevention Services Clearinghouse 

The Group Care Quality Standards Assessment: A Framework for Assessment, Quality Improvement, and Effectiveness

COMMUNITY BASED CARE

Community Based Care (CBC), formerly known as Foster Care Redesign is a community-based approach to meeting the individual and unique needs of children, youth, and families in the foster care system. Within a geographic service area, a single contractor (officially a Single Source Continuum Contractor or SSCC) is responsible for finding foster homes or other living arrangements for children in state care and providing them a full continuum of services.

The SSCC is held to performance standards that promote the health, safety, and well-being of children, such as keeping children close to home, keeping sibling groups together, and achieving permanency. 

TACFS has created this brochure to help educate communities and organizations about Community Based Care in Texas. 

For more information, please visit the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services' Community Based Care webpage. 


Our network represents the four main SSCC stakeholders in Texas...



ADVOCACY resources 

We believe the stories of our members and the children and families they serve are a critical voice in our advocacy efforts. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact info@tacfs.org

Texas Legislature Online
Advocacy Guide 
Texas Budget Cycle

TACFS members can find more advocacy resources, such as legislative district and contact information here.

Post- 86th Legislative session Resources

86th Legislature Tool Kit

Read our comprehensive packet filled with recommendations for child welfare professionals moving forward post-session. 

86th Legislature Key Bills

A series of key bills passed during the 86th Legislature that will impact child welfare throughout Texas. Read our breakdown on bills affecting transitional living, licensing, kinship care, and more. 

86th Legislature Budget Update

Click here to view our synopsis on how the budgeting decisions of the 86th Legislative Session impacted the fields: prevention, youth services, community based care, adoption, foster care and more. 

Foster Care/Residential Child Care Rate Proposal

Our recommendations were drafted through the lens of how to build capacity in the foster care system, so it meets the current demand, as well as ensure positive outcomes for children and youth in conservatorship of the state. In order to safeguard these outcomes, the proposal lists seven things must be addressed in the foster care system.

Legislative Priorities

The Alliances 2019 Legislative Priorities include requests that the Legislature consider appropriately adjusting the foster care rate methodology to more accurately adapt to the growing and changing needs of foster care, to adequately support and fund a continuum of services including prevention, family preservation, post-adoption, youth services, and funding the continuation of CBC. 

85th Texas Legislature - Interim

Reports
Senate Health and Human Services Interim Report
House Human Services Interim Report

Interim Charges Released
Senate Charges Part 1 and Part 2
House Interim Charges