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Addressing Disproportionality in Texas. A Committed Community Collaboration Presented by: Carolyne Rodriguez, Director of Texas State Strategy, Casey Family Programs Deborah Green, Texas Child Protective Services Disproportionality Initiative Lead. Objectives for Today.

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addressing disproportionality in texas

Addressing Disproportionality in Texas

A Committed Community Collaboration

Presented by:

Carolyne Rodriguez, Director of Texas State Strategy, Casey Family Programs

Deborah Green, Texas Child Protective Services Disproportionality Initiative Lead

objectives for today
Objectives for Today
  • Introducing the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) and Casey Family Program's commitment to addressing disproportionality in the child welfare system
  • Setting the context for work to address disproportionality in Texas
  • Describing what the data is confirming about the issue
  • Establishing the linkage of this work to DFPS Renewal in Texas
  • Introducing the collaborative, community-based approach Texas is taking to address the problem
a shared vision
A Shared Vision . . .

In May of 2004, Casey Family Programs and DFPS entered a collaborative relationship, committed to concentrating resources and energy to establish an intensive planning and implementation process to reduce disproportionality in the Texas child welfare system.

Texas was chosen in part because of:

  • its large child population,
  • its potential for significant program and policy impact on a statewide level, and
  • its long-established working relationship with Casey Family Programs in a systems improvement collaborative called The Texas State Strategy.
casey family programs
Casey Family Programs
  • Mission and organizational values
  • Internal practices and changes
    • Strengths-based work efforts and plans
    • Shared decision-making/shared power
    • Prevention and flexibility in funding
    • Cross-systems work
    • Cultural competency
    • Data, evaluation
casey s work efforts in texas
Casey’s Work Efforts in Texas
  • Texas State Strategy
  • Family Group Decision Making
  • Family Focus
  • Transitional Living
  • CPS Education Initiative
  • Breakthrough Series Collaborative on Disproportionality
texas department of family and protective services dfps
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS)

Children First, Safe and Secure!

The Child Protective Services (CPS) program of DFPS is designated to receive alleged reports of child maltreatment and to investigate reports of suspected abuse and neglect. The total child population for the state of Texas in 2005 is estimated at 6,277,205.

Goal: To ensure child safety and to provide services that promote the integrity and stability of the family.

cps leading change
CPS: Leading Change

CPS is committed to addressing disproportionality through its vision of Children First, Safe and Secure, and ensuring alignment with CPS values of respect, integrity, inclusiveness, commitment, and compassion.

Strategies include:

  • Increasing collaboration,
  • Promoting promising practices and tools and the improved use of data, and
  • Increasing the cultural competence of CPS staff at all levels.
principles of work effort
Principles of Work Effort

Disproportionality is a systemic issue, involving multiple systems; it is not solely a CPS problem.

Parallel objectives:

  • reducing the number of African-American youth entering the system
  • improving the outcomes for those who are in care
internal review at cps
Internal Review at CPS
  • Examination of internal practices and policies
  • Considering practice models that can be applied at the community level
expected outcomes
Expected Outcomes

To reduce, and ultimately to prevent, the disproportionate representation of and disparate outcomes for African-American children in the child welfare system.

who is involved
Who is Involved?
  • DFPS
  • Casey Family Programs
  • Community stakeholders
    • African-American children and families
    • Local government agencies
    • Non-profit agencies
    • Community members
united states data
United States Data

*American Indian/Alaska Native category does not include youth in Tribal Custody.

Sources: Census Data (2000); AFCARS Data (September 30, 2000)

texas data summary
Texas Data Summary
  • Disproportionality increases with increased involvement in child welfare system.
  • Different regions/localities face different challenges.
from the beginning
From the Beginning
  • Highly collaborative process
  • Early discussions and practice implementation
  • Addressing all levels of CPS system
  • Recognizing importance of cross-systems communication
  • Casey’s role
houston s actions
Houston’s Actions
  • Leadership commitment
  • Selection as one of two pilot regions
  • Diversity and breadth of Disproportionality Community Advisory Committee
  • Commitment to stakeholder involvement
next steps
Next steps…
  • CPS Disproportionality Staff
  • Future presentations / continued communication about the work efforts
  • State level task force
  • Regional implementation
objectives for african american youth and families
Objectives for African-American Youth and Families
  • More youth and family engagement
  • Fewer youth in the foster care system
  • Fewer moves in out-of-home placement
  • Less time in foster care placement
  • More youth placed with kin
  • More foster and adoptive homes
  • More community commitment, involvement, and resources
  • More effective outcomes for all youth
  • Enhanced best practice models
the right thing to do
The Right Thing to Do

“Cowardice asks the question, is it safe?

Expediency asks the question, is it polite?

Vanity asks the question, is it popular?

But conscience asks the question, is it right?

And there comes a time when one must take a position that is

neither safe, nor polite, nor popular

– but one must take it because it is right.”

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.