86th Texas Legislative Session

Legislative Agenda and Recap

86th Legislative Session: TNOYS Legislative Agenda

The agenda we designed outlines our goals for the 86th Texas Legislature, which are informed directly by our experience with young people and those who serve them.

86th Texas Legislative Session Recap Report

The 86th Texas Legislative Session resulted in several bills and budget decisions that TNOYS believes will truly make a difference in the lives of youth across systems. In this recap report, we provide a summary to give youth and those who work with them an overview of the key policy changes from the session that will impact them and their work.

Webinar: 86th Texas Legislative Session Recap

In this July 2019 webinar, TNOYS’ Director of Public Policy Lauren Rose shared a recap of policy changes from Texas’ 86th Legislative Session that impact youth and the providers who serve them. Lauren also explained how TNOYS utilized youth voice to advance our legislative agenda and highlighted some of the biggest wins for youth, including new state funding to support youth experiencing homelessness.

Webinar Recording: Youth Services Issues in the 2019 Texas Legislative Session

In this webinar from December 2018, TNOYS’ Director of Child Welfare Policy Dr. Katherine Byers provided a preview of policymaking activity to expect around youth services issues during the 86th Texas Legislative Session. Katherine also shares TNOYS’ legislative agenda to give a better idea of the issues our organization and our members will be advocating for.

Strengthening Texas’ Commitment to Youth Who Are Homeless

Understanding and Supporting the Unique Needs of Texas’ Homeless Youth

Preparing Youth Exiting Foster Care for Adulthood

Invest in Prevention to Support Youth and Families and Save Taxpayer Money

Strengthening Accountability for Foster Care

Ensure Foster Youth Have A Safe Place to Stay

Expand Evidence-Based Programming and Practices

Ensure Cross-System Youth Have Opportunities for Success

Out-of-School Suspensions Harm Students Experiencing Homelessness

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Senate Committee on Finance Hearing on Article 7 (regarding funding to support youth experiencing homelessness), January 31, 2019:

House Appropriations Committee Hearing on Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs Budget (regarding funding to support youth experiencing homelessness), February 11, 2019:

House Human Services Committee Hearing on HB 45, February 19, 2019:


85th Texas Legislative Session

Legislative Agenda and Recap

85th Legislative Session: TNOYS Legislative Agenda
Agenda outlines TNOYS goals for the 84th Texas Legislative Session and its 7 key focus areas for the upcoming legislative session.

85th Texas Legislative Session Recap
The 85th Texas Legislative Session was an important one for our state’s child welfare system. TNOYS drafted this report to explain the policy changes that were made this session and how they will impact the work of Texas’ youth and the professionals who serve them.

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Understanding and Supporting the Unique Needs of Texas’ Homeless Youth

Through a contract with the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA), TNOYS developed and conducted the survey Youth Count Texas!, the first ever statewide count of youth experiencing homelessness in Texas. This fact sheet outlines how Texas can continue to take a leadership role this legislative session in the effort to end youth homelessness.

Young and Homeless in Texas

TNOYS and Texas Appleseed worked together to produce this fact sheet, based on learnings from our joint project to identify systemic drivers of and solutions to youth homelessness.

Foster Care Funding and Redesign: Supporting the Best Possible Care for Texas’ Children and Youth

A fact sheet that outlines the three steps TNOYS recommends the Legislature takes to strengthen our state’s child welfare system.

Enhancing Prevention and Early Intervention Services for Youth and Families

The Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) division at the Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS) provides services and interventions that are proven to prevent children and youth from ending up in the more expensive foster care and juvenile justice systems. This fact sheets provides recommendations for bolstering PEI efforts this legislative session, including strengthening the successful Services to At-Risk Youth (STAR) program.


84th Texas Legislative Session

Legislative Agenda and Recap

84th Legislative Session: TNOYS Legislative Agenda
Agenda outlines TNOYS goals for the 84th Texas Legislative Session and its 7 key focus areas for the session.

84th Texas Legislative Session Recap: Big Wins for Texas Youth
Our Legislative Session Recap report outlines all you need to know about the results of the 84th Texas Legislative Session and its impact on youth services and programs.

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Fact Sheet on Prevention and Early Intervention Division (PEI) Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS)

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.

Fact Sheet on Services to At-Risk Youth (STAR)
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.

Fact Sheet on Foster Care Redesign
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.

Fact Sheet on SB1494 by Senator Uresti to promote high school completion among youth are homeless.
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.


83rd Texas Legislative Session

Legislative Agenda and Recap

2013 TNOYS Legislative Agenda
The 2013 TNOYS Legislative Agenda outlines the principles that guided 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.

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Fact Sheet for HB 2400

HB 2400 will equip juvenile courts with the tools to address adolescent behaviors appropriately.

Services To At Risk Youth (“STAR”) Briefing Paper
This briefing paper, authored by Jack Nowicki, addresses the history, design, and importance of the STAR program.

Services to At-Risk Youth (“STAR”) Talking Points
The STAR program fact sheet outlines talking points addressing the STAR program. It is designed to support you in your meetings with policymakers.

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TNOYS Testimony to the House Human Services for HB 2240
HB 2400 would lay groundwork to address the issue of youth homelessness by establishing a definition of the problem.

TNOYS Testimony to the Senate Higher Education Committee on SB 1210
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.

TNOYS Testimony to the House Corrections Committee for HB 1543
HB 1543 would establish an ombudsman to protect the rights of youth incarcerated within county juvenile justice facilities.

TNOYS Testimony to the Senate Jurisprudence Committee for SB 717
SB 717 will make it easier for unaccompanied homeless youth to access transitional living services.

TNOYS Testimony to the House Human Services Committee for HB 445
HB 445 will promote savings opportunities and important life skills for youth who are in foster care.