New Reports Released on the Progress of Community-Based Care Implementation

On March 31, the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) released two reports related to the implementation of Community-Based Care (CBC):

Quarterly Report

The Quarterly Report provides updates on the implementation of CBC and the initiatives Single Source Continuum Contractors (SSCCs) are undertaking. It also highlights the progress of CBC-related legislation that passed during the 87th Legislative Session. The report states that RFPs will be issued in April for four new catchment areas: Region 3E (Metroplex East), Region 4 (Piney Woods), Region 5 (Deep East), and Region 9 (Permian/Concho). It also announced the re-naming of the CBC catchment areas. Rather than being named by their region number, they will now have more descriptive names.

Region Number New Catchment Area Name
1 Panhandle
2 Big Country & Texoma
3E Metroplex East
3B Metroplex West
4 Piney Woods
5 Deep East
6A Harris County
6B Bay Area/Montgomery
7A Central Texas/Waco
7B Capital Area
8A Bexar County
8B South Central & Hill Country
9 Permian/Concho
10 El Paso
11A South Texas/Corpus Christi
11B Rio Grande Valley

Rider 15 Report

The Rider 15 Report provides performance metrics comparing CBC-operated regions to the legacy system. It discusses the impact of COVID-19 and the federal lawsuit on foster care capacity and permanency across the state, including in CBC areas. With these factors influencing performance, the following measures were reported:

  • There was a decrease in the percentage of children placed within 50 miles of their home by Panhandle (Region 1) and Metroplex West (region 3W) areas. In Big Country & Texoma (Region 2), however, 2INgage was able to increase the percentage of children placed closer to home.
  • In a measure also tied to foster care capacity, the Metroplex West saw a decrease in sibling groups being placed together, while the Panhandle and Big Country & Texoma areas saw an increase in sibling groups staying together.
  • The Panhandle saw an increase in the use of least-restrictive settings, but Big Country & Texoma and Metroplex West saw a small decrease in the this measure.

Staff turnover is an ongoing challenge for Metroplex West and Big Country & Texoma.

The Quarterly Report also provided the following updates on current SSCCs’ initiatives and the implementation of legislation from the 87th Legislative Session.

  • OCOK (Metroplex West) provided an update on the kinship care assessment and kinship-related pilot projects about to be launched. OCOK also provided updates on their new Preparation for Adult Living curriculum and their capacity building efforts.
  • 2INgage (Big Country & Texoma) reported on efforts to reduce staff turnover and touted the strength of their Youth Leadership Council. 2INgage launched their new Quality Parenting Initiative, noting CASA’s involvement. 2INgage also reported on efforts to educate child placing agencies on supporting kinship placements while they complete the licensing process.
  • Saint Francis (Panhandle) reported on its success with local capacity building, including an increase in residential capacity by 450% in the last quarter. Most importantly, this capacity includes a residential treatment facility that will meet the qualifications of a Qualified Residential Treatment Center as defined by the Family First Prevention Services Act. The new facility is projected to open this summer.
  • Belong (South Central & Hill Country – Region 8B) reported on their capacity building efforts, which included contracting for in-home services to support kinship, adoptive and foster placements. Belong is also working with partners to develop residential treatment programs designed to serve children needing acute levels of care. Belong has also focused on prevention efforts in their region.

Finally, the Quarterly Report outlined the progress of implementing provisions from Senate Bill 910 and the CBC-related provisions in Senate Bill 1896. Updates were given related to the work of a new Data Access and Standards Governance Council, which is working to establish interoperability standards for the information systems in the child welfare system. The report indicated that the State has begun distributing funds allocated in the Appropriations Bill for capacity building, and there are studies currently underway related to establishing a volunteer mentorship program and integrating family preservations services into the CBC model.