Last month, TNOYS hosted a meeting of its Emergency Shelter Task Force, with organizations from across Texas traveling to Fort Worth to hear important updates that affect their work. We’re grateful to Superior Health Plan for helping to sponsor the meeting and sharing information about their work with attendees, and to ACH Child and Family Services for hosting the meeting at their facility and kicking off the day with a tour of their own emergency shelter.
As with other meetings of this group, the day-long event provided a chance for emergency shelter providers to come together to share common challenges and best practices and hear from experts about new developments in the field. Get caught up on the information that was shared below:
- Representatives from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services presented about the extensive work they are doing to prevent youth from running from foster care. These efforts include wraparound meetings with runaway youth once they have been located to understand what made them run and determine the best possible living situation for them going forward. DFPS also solicited feedback from the group in attendance, with many of the suggestions focusing on identifying opportunities for youth to have normalcy and to participate in decision-making about their own lives.
- Wayne Carson, CEO of ACH Child and Family Services, gave an update on Community Based Care in Region 3b and discussed the important roles that shelters are currently playing in the redesigned system. Those roles include serving children and youth with high levels of need after a placement breakdown, providing placement for sibling groups, and serving as a last minute emergency placement in unique circumstances.
- Staff from ACH Child and Family Services also shared information about frameworks and evidence-based practices they are utilizing within the organization’s shelter, including Positive Youth Development, Trauma Informed Care, and Trust-Based Relational Intervention. Attendees discussed the advantages and challenges associated with these models as well as other models that they are using.
- Superior Health Plan, which sponsored the meeting, shared information about its Turning Point Program, which diverts children and youth in foster care from psychiatric hospitalization. The program offers emergency intervention assessment and crisis intervention 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for youth in care and their caregivers. Support includes a 24-hour crisis information line, mental health assessment, counseling, alternate care settings for youth who qualify, and more. It is currently offered in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, and Abilene areas.
- TNOYS also shared results of its survey of emergency shelters conducted earlier this year, which shed light on shelters’ strengths, funding sources, and desired areas of expansion. Click here to view some of the survey’s findings.
TNOYS is grateful to the meeting’s sponsors and hosts for making this important gathering possible, as well as to all the presenters and attendees who traveled to be there. Emergency shelters face unique challenges that make these information-sharing opportunities valuable – if you are part of an emergency shelter that would benefit from attendance, please keep an eye on our events page to see when the next meeting is scheduled or sign up for our email list to receive updates on TNOYS events.