DFPS awarded the first metropolitan Foster Care Redesign Single Source Continuum Contract (SSCC) to ACH Child and Family Services of Fort Worth on December 16, 2013. ACH will serve Erath, Hood, Johnson, Tarrant, Palo Pinto, Somervell and Parker counties. DFPS looks forward to seeing this partnership improve the lives of children, youth and families of Texas.

ACH Child and Family Services is a Texas-based nonprofit with extensive community involvement in the Fort Worth area since 1915, and is accredited by the Council on Accreditation. ACH will:

  • Work to increase the capacity of existing providers and identify more community-based supports and services.
  • Conduct a comprehensive assessment of community needs and an analysis to find gaps between the need for services and their availability.
  • Do comprehensive safety and risk assessments to evaluate family strengths and needs.
  • Provide service coordination based on the ten principles of Wraparound. For children and youth with complex behavioral health needs, ACH will use what is known as evidence-informed models.
  • Use a trauma-informed and trauma-based care service approach. (Learn about trauma-informed care)
  • Use a comprehensive continuous quality improvement (CQI) process to assess, inform, and guide how services are provided and the system improved.
  • Have a centralized training department that provides evidence-based training to all providers and stakeholders in ACH's System of Care, based on CQI data and stakeholder feedback.

The contract is effective on January 1, 2014. ACH Child and Family Services and DFPS will have up to 6 months to complete a start-up phase before the first child is served through this contract.

Upcoming Meetings

The Public Private Partnership will hold the meeting on April 11th 2014 at the Center for Child Protection in Austin, located at 8509 FM 969 in Austin, Texas. The meeting will begin at 9:00 a.m..

Background Information

Foster Care Redesign is a new way of providing foster care services that relies on a single contractor, within various geographic areas, which is responsible for finding foster homes or other living arrangements for children in state care and providing them a full continuum of services. The goals are to:

  • Keep children and youth closer to home and connected to their communities and siblings.
  • Improve the quality of care and outcomes for children and youth.
  • Reduce the number of times children move between foster homes.

Foster Care Redesign is the result of a multi-year process that involved over 3,000 stakeholders, the consideration of numerous foster care models, and a detailed analysis of data related to how children fare in Texas foster care. Foster Care Redesign reflects DFPS' strong commitment to improving outcomes for children and youth in foster care.

The transition to this new system is happening in stages. The first area is DFPS Regions 2 & 9, which covers a wide area of North and West Texas that is mostly rural. The second area includes seven metropolitan counties in DFPS Region 3 (See a map of the DFPS regions)

Since August 26, 2013, children and youth entering foster care from DFPS Regions 2 & 9 have been served by the first Foster Care Redesign system. Providence Services Corporation of Texas is responsible for finding foster homes or other living arrangements for all children in paid foster care from this area of the state and for ensuring children get the services they need.

Children and youth already in foster care will transition into the new system over time so as to not disrupt their lives. On August 15, 2013, DFPS Commissioner John Specia waived certain administrative rules to allow the flexibility to operate the new system.

Regions 2 & 9 covers 60 counties and includes the communities of Wichita Falls, Abilene, San Angelo, Brownwood, and Midland/Odessa.

Foster Care Redesign proposed 24 Hour Residential Child Care Rates

The Foster Care Redesign 24 Hour Residential Child Care proposed rates are now posted on the HHSC Rate Analysis webpage.

Public Private Partnership’s (PPP) Recommendations for Modifying Request for Proposal

DFPS posted a Request for Information (RFI) from December 28, 2012 through January 16, 2013, to get feedback to modify the next RFP for a Single Source Continuum Contract or contracts.  We received 29 responses to the RFI.

The Public-Private Partnership reviewed lessons-learned from the first Foster Care Redesign procurement as well as feedback from the RFI and developed recommendations for modifying future procurements.  The partnership reached agreement on recommendations for modifying the RFP on March 25, 2013 and submitted them to DFPS Commissioner, Judge Specia.

DFPS plans to incorporate these recommendations in future procurements as allowed by state and federal rules and regulations.

PPP Recommendations to DFPS Commissioner, Judge Specia

On February 1st, 2013, the first single source continuum contract (SSCC) of the Foster Care Redesign initiative went into effect with Providence Service Corporation (PSC) of Texas. The contract is for DFPS regions 2 and 9, which include Wichita Falls, Abilene, San Angelo, and Midland/Odessa.

PSC of Texas' Collaborative Partnership Model Serving Regions 2/9

Providence has been providing services in Texas since 1998 and through the SSCC contract will operate a model that includes:

  • Developing a strong network of providers.
  • Strong community involvement, including forming a provider council and community advisory committee, coordination with school systems, coordination with STAR Health providers, collaboration with the courts, CASA, and other stakeholders.
  • Providing wraparound services designed to serve children in family-like settings in their own communities.
  • A strong intake and assessment component seeking to make the first placement the best placement.
  • Strategic family foster home development and training.
  • A strong quality assurance component.
  • The use of solution-based casework and trauma-informed care.
  • More family-centered, in-home and community-based services so that fewer children with complex needs will need to be in out-of-home group or residential clinical care.
  • Expansion of community based services (traditional and non-traditional)

Overview

The guiding principles of Foster Care Redesign are:

  • First and foremost, all children and youth are safe from abuse and neglect in their foster-care placement.
  • Children and youth are placed in their home communities.
  • Children and youth are appropriately served in the least restrictive environment that supports minimal moves.
  • Connections to family and others important to the child are maintained.
  • Children and youth are placed with their siblings.
  • Services respect the child's culture.
  • That youth are fully prepared for successful adulthood and are provided opportunities, experiences and activities similar to those experienced by their non-foster care peers.
  • Youth are provided opportunities to participate in decisions that impact their lives.

From a system development perspective the guiding principles of the redesign include:

  • Fully informing and engaging those with an interest in foster care (stakeholders).
  • Basing proposed solutions on the data and evidence.
  • Providing incentives for good outcomes for children.
  • Developing a foster care model that neither precludes nor requires additional funding.

Objectives

The Foster Care Redesign project began in January 2010 with three objectives:

  • Determine where and what kind of services are needed
  • Determine how to contract for quality services, including recommended outcomes, performance measures, and procurement processes
  • Determine how to pay for those services (fiscal system/payment methodologies that align incentives with process quality objectives).

Communication

Foster Care Redesign was based on input and recommendations from over 3,000 stakeholders, including youth in foster care or those formerly in foster care. Stakeholders took part in presentations, focus groups, meetings, surveys. They also had a chance to respond to a request for information (RFI) and a draft RFP to provide input for the new foster care model.

The Public-Private Partnership (PPP), a group composed largely of representatives of constituent groups, channeled information to and from their constituents. The PPP considered and evaluated:

  • Options and recommendations from stakeholders and other states that have done foster care reform.
  • Nationally known experts on foster-care financing.
  • Others with knowledge of improving foster-care outcomes.

Recommendations

On December 13th, 2010, the PPP reached a consensus and submitted recommendations to DFPS, outlining a new foster care model for Texas.

Public Private Partnership Letter to Former DFPS Commissioner Heiligenstein

Final recommendations on an overall system design plan were presented to the Texas Legislature in February 2011. These recommendations included:

  • How to obtain, contract, and pay for foster-care services in a way that promotes desired outcomes for children.
  • Policy, programmatic, fiscal, and practice implications of changing the system.
  • A mechanism for balancing foster care services' demand and supply.

2/14/11 - Improving Child and Youth Placement Outcomes: A System Redesign (Foster Care Redesign) Report

On June 17th 2011, Governor Rick Perry signed Senate Bill 218 into law. It directs DFPS to proceed with Foster Care Redesign according to the recommendations in the Foster Care Redesign Report.

Resources