2020 Census Resources for Youth and Family Service Providers

Why The Census Matters for Texas’ Youth  | Counting Group Quarters |  Working for the Census 

Hard-to-count areas of Texas (source: texascounts.org

Thanks to generous funding from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health and Texas Communities Count, TNOYS is leading a new initiative to ensure that Texas’ youth and families are counted in the 2020 Census. 

Please note: the U.S. Census Bureau released a statement on August 3rd announcing that data collection will be cut short, ending on September 30th, 2020. If you would like more information on how this change affects your get-out-the-count initiatives, please contact Sarah Prager at sprager@tnoys.org


TNOYS’ Digital Census Toolkit

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a big impact on census outreach, and it’s now more important than ever to make sure that all Texans (particularly hard-to-count populations) are counted. To help your census outreach, the TNOYS team put together a Census Toolkit with posters, graphics, social media ideas, and more. We hope these resources will help you spread the word online, and assist clients with the census survey. 

Toolkit Resources Include:

  1. Information for service providers such as guides to educate staff about counting people in residential setting and those experiencing homelessness, strategies to inform and assist clients with the census, updated census operational timelines and more.
  2. Youth focused materials including Census 101, guidance on answering the census, knowing your census worker, and more.
  3. A Digital Media Toolkit including social media language and graphics for Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
  4. Posters and flyers for locations still engaging with clients in person to raise awareness, motivate clients, and get out the count.



 Challenges of the 2020 Census

The 2020 Census faces unique challenges, several of which put Texas at-risk of an undercount. TNOYS and its network are well-positioned to reach populations that have been described by the Census Bureau as hard-to-count (HTC). This designation includes populations that were undercounted in the last census, and those who are underserved or underrepresented in other ways.

TNOYS member organizations provide services to several HTC populations, including:

  • Youth in foster care,
  • Youth and families experiencing homelessness,
  • LGBTQ youth,
  • Immigrants and refugees,
  • Those less likely to use the internet or those without internet access, and,
  • Displaced youth and families affected by a disaster.

As part of our efforts, TNOYS will launch an awareness campaign and collaborate with members to address some of the barriers that prevent people from being counted. Learn more about TNOYS’ initiatives here


How TNOYS Members Can Get Involved

Is your organization interested in receiving assistance with Get Out the Count efforts? TNOYS has resources available to help member organizations promote the census to their clients, and assist clients in completing the census survey.

As part of our efforts, TNOYS members will have access to: 

  • A personalized introduction to the member organization’s local Complete Count Committee,
  • An online resource center with toolkits, data, and information on how to connect with efforts in local areas,
  • Promotional, informational, and youth-friendly resources about the census, such as fliers, posters, and cards,
  • Technical assistance on how to develop strategies to facilitate an accurate count for HTC populations, and
  • The opportunity to secure a mini-grant. These funds are intended to help members provide space and resources to assist clients in completing the census survey.

Please email Sarah Prager at sprager@tnoys.org to learn more about opportunities and available support from TNOYS.


Counting Group Quarters

Group quarters and service-based enumeration provide an opportunity for people without conventional housing and people who may be experiencing homelessness to be counted in the 2020 Census. 

Many youth and family services providers in our network operate a facility that may qualify for group quarters or service-based enumeration. If your facility meets the criteria described below, please reach out to us— we’ll assist you with next steps to get your youth clients counted.

Group Quarters Enumeration

Youth in group quarters must be counted by Thursday, September 3rd.  If you think your organization meets the criteria for group quarters, please contact Sarah Prager at spragers@tnoys.org by August 14th. You will be connected with a U.S. Census Bureau staff member who can assist in counting your facility.

The Census Bureau defines “group quarters” as places where people stay in a group living arrangement. For youth, this can include group homes and residential treatment centers. It can also include domestic violence shelters and living quarters for victims of natural disasters. Please find the full definition of “group quarters” here.

Service-Based Enumeration 

Service-based enumeration will be completed by Thursday, September 24th

The census bureau conducts “service-based enumeration” for people who receive food assistance or who may be experiencing homelessness. If your organization provides emergency transitional shelters (with sleeping facilities) for youth experiencing homelessness, you may qualify for service-based enumeration services.

Learn more here, and please contact Sarah Prager at sprager@tnoys.org for more information.


Why The Census Matters for Texas’ Youth

Texas receives billions in funding each year to support housing, transportation, and other services, according to the Center for Public Policy Priorities. Texas Counts reports that an undercount of just 1% could result in a loss of $300 million in federal funding for Texas each year. What’s more, data from the 2020 Census will determine the number of representatives that Texas will have in Congress. 

Check out the video and resources below to learn more about the census and why it is important for your organization.



TNOYS’ young adult staff and Young Adult Leadership Council (YALC) members teamed up to create an informational video on why the census is important for youth and families. The video answers common questions about the census, such as why it’s important to make sure everyone is counted, how to fill it out, and how the census impacts our communities.

Take a look, and please feel free to share with your community and clients:



Census 2020: What Nonprofits Need to Know
Source: Nonprofit VOTE

Nonprofit VOTE has compiled a number of resources to assist nonprofits in their Get Out The Count goals. This overview provides more information on the implications that an undercounts has for nonprofits and the clients they serve, including the potential impact on federal funding for nonprofits. 

Census 2020 FAQ
Source: CUNY (City University of New York)

This one-page handout answers common questions about the census, in an easy-to-understand format. The handout could be especially useful for employees of TNOYS member organizations and the clients they serve.

Making the 2020 Census Count for Every Texan
Source: Better Texas Blog; Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP)

The Better Texas Blog contains information and links to resources specifically for Texas residents and organizations. This page includes a resource list with links to other helpful information about the census.

Census Response Rate Map
Source: City University of New York

The map below features self-response rates from households that responded to the 2020 Census online, by mail, or by phone. 


Working for the Census

The Census Bureau is still accepting applications for part-time jobs with the 2020 Census. Apply online now: https://2020census.gov/en/jobs.html. Census operations are currently delayed due to COVID 19, however they are still accepting applications.


TNOYS will continually update this page with new information and resources for members, so please stay tuned!

For more information on TNOYS’ 2020 Census initiatives, please email Sarah Prager at sprager@tnoys.org.