Publications and Resources

Webinar: Understanding the Families First Prevention Services Act

TNOYS’ Director of Child Welfare Policy, Dr. Katherine Barillas, hosted this webinar in March 2018 to explore the federal Families First Prevention Services Act, one of the biggest policy changes to the child welfare system.  The webinar provides information about the impact that new opportunities and requirements of the law will have on providers and the families they serve. Click here to fill out a registration form and gain access to the recording.

 

Webinar: Ethical Decision Making in Youth Services

Ethical dilemmas and boundary challenges can arise for youth services providers around a client’s right to self-determination, considerations of confidentiality, when managing agency or contract requirements, and in many other situations. In this online training workshop, Jack Nowicki, LCSW and Lara O’Toole, LMSW explore the factors that impact ethical decisions, reviews current frameworks and decision-making strategies for making ethical decisions, and consider how colleagues, supervisors, and other resources can offer support. The webinar meets ethics training requirements. A recording of the webinar is available free of charge and CEU certificates are available for members at $10 and non-members at $15. Click here to fill out a registration form and gain access to the recording.

 

Webinar: Understanding Normalcy and Why It Matters
Last year, the Texas Dept. of Family and Protective Services highlighted the importance of normalcy for youth in foster care and put a rule and licensing change into effect related to this topic. This webinar, first presented on Nov. 9, 2017, was led by Sarah Crockett of Texas CASA and addressed the laws and standards in Texas as well as the social/emotional benefits related to normalcy. The webinar meets normalcy training requirements. A recording of the webinar is available to TNOYS members free of charge and for $10 to non-members. Click here to fill out a registration form and gain access to the recording.
 
 
Young, Alone and Homeless in the Lone Star State

This joint report produced by TNOYS and Texas Appleseed is the most comprehensive study to date of youth homelessness in Texas. Its key finding is that the lack of a cohesive policy and funding approach to address the problem of youth homelessness in Texas has resulted in high levels of youth who are homeless and poor outcomes for these young people. The report’s findings reveal that youth homelessness doesn’t just affect youth who find themselves without homes, it also has broader implications for the communities in which they live because of the impact on criminal justice, education, and other key institutions. In addition to these findings, the report shares recommendations on policies that can better support the state’s service providers who are working to address youth homelessness, and the young people they serve.

 

TNOYS Legislative Recap Report: 85th Texas Regular Legislative Session 

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.The success of the legislative session for youth service organizations and other child welfare stakeholders was mixed, but there were some major wins for Texas youth and families and the providers who serve them and some major policy changes to be aware of. The report outlines the information according to TNOYS’ legislative priority areas, which include prevention and early intervention, youth homelessness, trauma-informed care, supporting the transition to adulthood, and youth engagement. 

 

Supporting Students Experiencing Homelessness: Insights from a Survey of Homeless Liaisons in Texas Public Schools

In 2016, TNOYS conducted a statewide survey of homeless liaisons in Texas public schools, who are tasked with identifying and supporting students experiencing homelessness. The purpose of this policy brief is to share findings from TNOYS’ survey and offer insight into how Texas can best support these homeless liaisons as they work to ensure that legal protections for homeless students are met. The survey reveals that homeless liaisons face many challenges, including competing demands on their time and difficulty identifying homeless students. Based on these findings, the report offers policy recommendations on how to better support these liaisons and the youth they serve who are experiencing homelessness in Texas.

 

Youth Homelessness in Texas: A report to fulfill the requirements of House Bill 679

In 2015, the Texas Legislature mandated through House Bill 679 that the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) produce a study of homeless youth in Texas. TDHCA contracted with TNOYS and the University of Houston to produce this report, which was delivered to the Texas Legislature in December 2016.  The report includes information on the number of homeless youth in the state, their needs, services available to support them, and funding sources dedicated to those services. It is based on data gathered from the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, and original data collected from 750+ homeless youth through the Youth Count! Texas study carried out by TNOYS and community partners across the state. 

 

 

The Youth Count Texas! Project: Process Evaluation Report
Screen Shot 2016-09-13 at 8.32.28 PMIn 2015, the Texas Legislature passed a bill mandating the first- ever statewide count and survey of homeless youth in Texas. TNOYS was contracted to develop and implement the survey in collaboration with local communities across the state. TNOYS produced this report to share lessons learned in the process of carrying out this groundbreaking effort. The findings and recommendations in this report can inform future counts of youth experiencing homelessness and provide insight into efforts to support this vulnerable population.

Click here to see the YCT! Process Evaluation report Appendix (survey tool) referenced in the report.

 

UNDERSTANDING YOUTH RIGHTS: Helping Providers Navigate the Laws and Policies Affecting Unaccompanied Homeless Youth

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 5.50.26 PMThis guide helps youth services providers navigate the often confusing laws that apply to homeless or unaccompanied youth, in order to better serve this vulnerable population. Guidance is provided on state and federal laws around issues such as emergency shelter/housing, emancipation, public education, medical treatment, and state and federal benefits. Each section of the guide contains answers to the most frequently asked questions related to each subject and offers general guidelines for most situations, and the first three chapters focus on how providers can empower the youth voice, help youth understand their rights and responsibilities, and appreciate and understand the cultural diversity among homeless youth.

 

Youth Engagement Toolkit

YE PuzzleThis toolkit features a compilation of some of TNOYS’ best resources on starting or enhancing youth engagement efforts within youth services organizations. The toolkit includes a definition of youth engagement and explanation of its benefits, tools to help agencies assess their readiness and progress on incorporating youth engagement, best practices for working with youth, and other practical strategies that organizations can implement to launch or enhance their efforts. The toolkit also includes real-life lessons from the those who have practiced youth engagement in the field.

 

Youth Count Texas! Toolkit

Youth Count Texas Toolkit LogoIn the official Youth Count Texas! Toolkit, you will find resources on how you can join us in this initiative to better support youth experiencing housing instability and homelessness. The Toolkit includes surveys, training materials, information on best practices, debriefing materials, and more!

 

Creating a Culture of Care Initiative Evaluation Report

Screen Shot 2016-09-30 at 4.03.00 PMThis report presents a thorough evaluation of the Creating a Culture of Care initiative, a collaborative effort between TNOYS and the University of Texas’ Hogg Foundation for Mental Health to impact how youth in Texas residential treatment centers receive care. The report includes key findings from quantitative and qualitative research that measured seclusion and restraint reporting and documented organizational changes at 11 intensive sites that were part of the initiative. The findings serve as important evidence that organizational culture change to reduce seclusion/restraint use at residential treatment centers can occur successfully.

 

Creating a Culture of Care Videos
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We have created two videos featuring TNOYS staff expert Jack Nowicki as well as staff from a participating residential treatment center (RTCs), Helping Hand Home for Children. These tools provide a firsthand look at how to reduce the use of seclusion and restraint at RTCs by implementing trauma-informed practices.

 
 

 

Nothing About Us Without Us, TAYF Planning Phase Evaluation Report
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This evaluation report of the Planning Phase of the Houston/Harris County Transition-Age Youth and Families initiative offers findings, insights, and recommendations for organizations, funders, and youth/caregiver leaders working to engage youth and families in service planning and delivery.  it captures the work of TNOYS and 8 Houston organizations over a 6-month planning period.

 

 

 

TAYF Literature Review Series

Harris Transition Coalition_LogoWhen embarking on the TAYF project, TNOYS staff first conducted a review of academic literature on youth engagement, particularly as it relates to peer leader roles. We summarized the findings of this review and made them available for the benefit of any organizations that are working to engage youth.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

View more TNOYS publications here.