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 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. This report includes findings based on the responses of these individuals that shed light on their circumstances and the circumstances of the students they serve. It also includes resulting recommendations on how to better support both liaisons and homeless students.
In December 2016, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs delivered this report to the Texas Legislature to share the findings of Youth Count Texas!, the first-ever statewide survey of homeless youth in Texas. The survey and this final report were mandated by the Texas Legislature in 2015’s House Bill 679. TNOYS Executive Director Christine Gendron co-authored the report.
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
This 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.
This 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.
In 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!
This 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
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.
When 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.