The most cost effective way to serve young people and their families is to prevent problems before they start and escalate to a crisis. The PEI division at the DFPS contracts with organizations across the state to provide services and interventions that are proven to prevent youth from ending up in the more expensive foster care and juvenile justice systems.
STAR is a prevention and early intervention program designed to support young people and their families who are in crisis before situations escalate to the point that more expensive and intrusive services are needed. STAR services are available 24 hours a day in all 254 counties in Texas, to youth under the age of 18 and their families. Services include family conflict resolution, short-term counseling, parenting classes, and emergency shelter for youth who need respite care.
The Foster Care Redesign model designed and implemented in Region 3B by ACH Child & Family Services is called “Our Community, Our Kids (OCOK).” The model promises better outcomes for children and youth in foster care, but if it is not adequately funded, it will fail.
Homeless students face extreme challenges in completing their education. This bill is designed to combat the challenges of homelessness and promote completion among youth who are homeless.
This table, developed by TNOYS, compared the proposed House and Senate funding levels for the Prevention and Early Intervention division at the Department of Family and Protective Services to current and previous funding levels.
HB 2400 will equip juvenile courts with the tools to address adolescent behaviors appropriately.
HB 2400 would lay groundwork to address the issue of youth homelessness by establishing a definition of the problem.
TNOYS implored the Senate Higher Education Committee to exclude youth in foster care from this legislation, which would limit their tuition and fee waiver benefit at public institutions of higher education.
HB 1543 would establish an ombudsman to protect the rights of youth incarcerated within county juvenile justice facilities.
SB 717 will make it easier for unaccompanied homeless youth to access transitional living services.
HB 445 will promote savings opportunities and important life skills for youth who are in foster care.
The 2013 TNOYS Legislative Agenda outlines the principles that will guide our advocacy work during the 83rd Texas Legislative Session. These principles include preventing problems before they start, addressing adolescent behaviors appropriately, promoting safe and nurturing living arrangements for youth who cannot remain at home with their parents, supporting youth during their transition to adulthood, and working in partnership with youth.
This briefing paper, authored by Jack Nowicki, addresses the history, design, and importance of the STAR program.
The STAR program fact sheet outlines talking points addressing the STAR program. It is designed to support you in your meetings with policymakers.