TNOYS’ Program Coordinator Brings Back PEAKS Camp for Its 31st Year

TNOYS’ Program Coordinator, Elizabeth Flint, was excited to play a part this year in one of TNOYS’ longest-running and most successful youth engagement programs – PEAKS Adventure Camp. 150 DFPS foster care youth and adult partners from across Texas traveled to Wimberley over Spring Break to participate in the camp, which focuses on developing youth… Read more »

Supporting Homeless Liaisons is a Smart Solution for Texas Legislators

  By Guest Blogger Patricia Hart, Co-Author of “Supporting Students Experiencing Homelessness”   Texas’ 85th legislative session kicked off earlier this year, giving lawmakers until the end of May to balance a state budget that is 3 percent smaller than that of the previous session. Having the power of the purse, the legislature must decide… Read more »

Positive Stories from Texas’ Child Welfare System Abound at Austin Event

There have been a lot of headlines recently about the need to fix Texas’ child welfare system, but it’s also important to recognize that there are many organizations across the state that are leaders in implementing best practices to keep youth and families healthy and happy. Last week, TNOYS brought several of these organizations together… Read more »

Hundreds of Texas Youth Travel to Austin for Youth in Action Capitol Day

Often, youth and their families know best what they need and how to make services work for them, which makes it important for legislators to hear from youth when drafting policy that impacts them. That’s why TNOYS hosts Youth in Action Capitol Day during each Texas legislative session. The timing couldn’t have been better this… Read more »

Austin Community Unites Around 100 Day Challenge

  At the end of 2016, Austin community organizations successfully completed a collaborative challenge launched on September 7th to house 50 youth experiencing homelessness in 100 days, with at least 50% of these being youth with foster care involvement.  In addition to the direct impact of housing youth, this effort represented a significant step forward… Read more »

Youth Safety Summit Sheds Light on Trafficking of Texas Youth and Efforts to End It

Attendees at yesterday’s Youth Safety Summit heard sobering stories and statistics about youth falling victim to human trafficking here in Texas, but they also left armed with new tools to fight the problem and encouraged about state leaders’ dedication to this important issue. The summit, hosted by TNOYS in partnership with Roy Maas’ Youth Alternatives… Read more »

A Status Update on Efforts to Reduce Seclusion & Restraint in Texas

  By Lara O’Toole   For many years, it was considered the norm to physically restrain or seclude individuals who presented challenging behaviors while in mental health facilities, prisons, nursing homes and even schools. While this practice still occurs all too often, over the past decade the use of seclusion and restraint interventions has come… Read more »

DFPS Commissioner Shares His Past Experiences and Plans for the Future

    TNOYS was pleased to host a small gathering last week for leaders of our member organizations to meet and hear from Texas Department of Children and Family Services Commissioner Hank Whitman. Whitman took on his new role earlier this year, after having served for 22 years with the Department of Public Safety and… Read more »

Member Spotlight: The HAY Center

The Houston Alumni & Youth (HAY) Center, a program of Harris County Protective Services (HCPS) that provides services to foster youth transitioning to adulthood, is unique among TNOYS members. That’s because it is a public-private partnership that relies on both county and private funding. According to Joel Levine, executive director of HCPS, that is key… Read more »

Why Finding Shelter for Homeless Youth Can Be More Complicated Than You Might Think

Here at TNOYS, we’re excited to see momentum growing around the effort to better understand and address homelessness among young people. For many people, the laws that apply to unaccompanied, homeless or runaway youth can seem vague and complicated, making it sometimes difficult to find solutions to help them access basic services. Last month, TNOYS’… Read more »