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Texas CASA Releases Latest Public Policy Report

Texas CASA Releases Key Data and Recommendations to Create a
More Trauma-Informed Child Welfare System
Public Policy Report and Recommendations Based on First-of-its-kind Survey within the Texas Child Welfare System

Texas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) announced the release of its latest public policy report, Understanding Trauma-Informed Care in the Texas Child Welfare System: Data and Recommendations from the Field. This report includes an analysis of the responses to the organization’s Workforce Survey on Trauma-Informed Care within the Child Welfare System in Texas from stakeholders in the field as well as Texas CASA’s recommendations for creating a more trauma-informed child welfare system.

With generous funding and support from the Supreme Court of Texas Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families, also referred to as the Children’s Commission, Texas CASA was able to gain a better understanding of the current state of trauma-informed care training, interventions and services across the Texas child welfare system by meeting with relevant stakeholders, conducting research about resources available and deploying a system-wide survey. After a thorough analysis of the data collected, strategic recommendations were developed to help improve the care, services and advocacy that abused, neglected and traumatized children receive.

“This unprecedented effort by Texas CASA’s Public Policy team and the Children’s Commission, along with so many others in the child welfare community, is a testament to the collaborative approach we are taking to become a leader in improving outcomes for children in foster care in Texas and the nation,” said Vicki Spriggs, chief executive officer of Texas CASA. “Because many children in substitute care have experienced trauma, we understand it is especially important for all the populations that interact with children in the Texas child welfare system to receive trauma-informed care training.”

The report provides an overview of the current status of trauma-informed care in Texas’ child welfare system and contains suggestions to continue to push the system toward increasing and improving trauma-informed care. Texas CASA’s recommendations include gathering more information about training and support for kinship caregivers and foster parents; creating a standard definition of trauma-informed care to be utilized across state agencies and systems throughout Texas; increasing training accessibility and opportunities, especially for populations who have not received any training on trauma; improving and expanding existing trauma-informed care training resources and trauma-informed care services throughout Texas; and restructuring financial contracts with providers based on new child outcome and cost savings research.

“Children who enter the child welfare system have often experienced trauma, whether it is from abuse or neglect by their families prior to removal or the separation from their families after removal from their homes,” said Tina Amberboy, executive director of the Children’s Commission. “The course of action outlined in this report will help Texas move toward a more trauma-informed child welfare system, one in which children will have a better opportunity to heal and experience the permanency and positive outcomes they deserve.”

While there are clear indications that trauma-informed care has begun to permeate the Texas child welfare system in training, practice and the types of services that children receive, this report highlights the ongoing need for all professionals in the system to understand the impact of trauma on child development and behavior.

About the Supreme Court of Texas Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families
The Supreme Court established the Children’s Commission in 2007 with the overall goal of improving the child welfare system by increasing public awareness of challenges facing children and families involved in the child welfare system and bringing attention to this important issue through judicial leadership, reforming judicial practice, and informing policy affecting child welfare. The Children’s Commission is a leading collaborative partner in most every aspect of child welfare reform in Texas.childrens_commission_header

www.TexasChildrensCommission.gov | Twitter.com/TXChildrensComm | Facebook.com/TexasChildrensCommission