What is Foster Care Redesign?

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 purpose is to improve the overall well-being of children in foster care and to keep them closer to home and connected with their communities and siblings.

The guiding principles of foster care redesign are:

  • Above all, children and youth are safe from abuse and neglect in their foster-care.
  • Children and youth are placed in their home communities.
  • Reduce the number of times children move between foster homes.
  • Children and youth are appropriately served in the least restrictive environment.
  • 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.
  • Youth are fully prepared for successful adulthood and are provided opportunities, experiences and activities similar to those experienced peers who are not in foster care.
  • Youth are provided opportunities to participate in decisions that impact their lives.

As we work to develop this new system, we will:

  • Fully inform and engage those with an interest in foster care (stakeholders).
  • Base proposed solutions on real data and evidence.
  • Create incentives for good outcomes for children.
  • Develop a foster care model that is neither dependent nor excludes additional funding.

What's New?

ACH Child and Family Services is working with DFPS to launch a Foster Care Redesign initiative on Sept. 1, 2014. 

“Foster Care Redesign offers targeted goals designed solely to improve services and outcomes for children,” said Judge John Specia, DFPS commissioner. “We must improve the way we deliver foster care services to our children and ACH Child and Family Services is uniquely qualified to implement this new model.”

DFPS awarded ACH a contract to oversee foster care services in Tarrant, Palo Pinto, Parker, Johnson, Hood, Somervell and Erath counties, in partnership with a network of provider agencies.

Our Community Our Kids, a newly formed division of ACH created specifically for that purpose, will oversee and be accountable for the network of providers in this area.

Our Community Our Kids will work with providers to make sure children and youth are:

  • Safe in foster care and have stability in their placement.
  • Able to maintain a connection to family and community.
  • Fully prepared for adulthood.
  • Placed in the least restrictive placement setting.
  • Able to participate in decisions that impact their lives.

ACH Child and Family Services is a Texas-based nonprofit that has served children and families for nearly 100 years since 1915, and is accredited by the Council on Accreditation. In 2013, as part of a statewide foster care redesign effort, DFPS selected ACH as a Single Source Continuum Contractor (SSCC).

See ACH press release.

Other News

August 1, 2014

Foster Care Redesign Update about Providence Service Corp. of Texas

DFPS is taking over direct management of foster care services in the state's initial Foster Care Redesign area after Providence Service Corp. of Texas decided to voluntarily terminate its contract. The five-year contract has an opt-out clause for either party. Providence exercised that right on August 1, 2014.

The Providence contract had been providing care and services for about 1,100 children in state custody from 60 counties in West Texas, Midland/Odessa, Abilene, San Angelo, Wichita Falls and hundreds of smaller communities.   DFPS selected this region as the state's first redesign area in 2012 and the contract with Providence took effect in Feb. 1, 2013.

A transition is now underway to assure a smooth transition of these duties back to DFPS. Care and services for foster children will not be affected as DFPS reassumes contracting directly with providers as it did before the Providence contract took effect.

The second area for Foster Care Redesign in Region 3 is unaffected by this development.

 

December 2013

ACH Child and Family Services awarded the first Metropolitan Foster Care Redesign Single Source Continuum Contract (SSCC)

DFPS awarded the first metropolitan Foster Care Redesign 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.

 

August 2013

Commissioner Specia waives administrative rules

On August 15, 2013, DFPS Commissioner John Specia waived certain administrative rules to allow the flexibility to operate the new system.

 

December 2012

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.

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We Welcome Your Comments on the Proposed Catchment Areas

Foster Care Redesign stakeholders have recommended that DFPS develop and publish a statewide plan for implementation of Redesign. A critical element of such a plan is determining service areas, known as catchment areas. The proposed draft of catchment areas was developed within county and regional boundaries and, in as much as possible, to achieve a minimum of 500 new entries into foster care annually.

Because FCR is a community-based model, large geographic catchment areas, which in some areas are necessary to meet the minimum new entry requirement, may require population/service hubs, with the needs of communities within the catchment areas addressed individually.

DFPS has developed possible options for statewide catchments area.  It is comprised of 16 catchment areas. This map does not suggest a particular implementation schedule. It's an opportunity for communities to provide input into how children, youth, and families may best be served in community-based systems.


DFPS encourages all interested stakeholders to review the map and provide comments, questions or additional input by September 15th, 2014.  You may provide comments through the Foster Care Redesign mailbox at FCRedesign@dfps.state.tx.us or directly to Kaysie.Reinhardt@DFPS.state.tx.us.

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Background Information on Foster Care Redesign

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 was in 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)

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.

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