Council on Children and Families by aG52zz


									                             Council on Children and Families
                          9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., January 18, 2012
                                 DSHS 7th Floor Boardroom
                            1100 West 49th Street, Austin, Texas

                                      Meeting Minutes

Members Attending:
Cherie Townsend, Council Chairperson Elect, Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD)
Kirk Cole for Dr. David Lakey, Department of State Health Services (DSHS)
Linda Brooke, TJJD
Jan Lindsay for Robert Scott, Texas Education Agency (TEA)
Terry Beattie for Tom Suehs, Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC)
Julie Burdett for Chris Traylor, Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS)
Kim Wedel for Debra Wanser, Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS)
Debra Emerson for Howard Baldwin, Texas Department of Family Services (DFPS)
Reagan Miller for Larry Temple, Texas Workforce Commission (TWC)
Kathy Lee, Parent Representative
Jonathan Taylor, Youth Representative

Staff Attending:
Sherri Hammack, HHSC
Francesca Kupper, HHSC
Cassandra Marx, HHSC

Josette Saxton, Texans Care for Children

I.     Welcome and Introductions and Announcements

       Cherie Townsend, Chair-Elect, called the meeting to order, reviewed the Council’s
       mission, and facilitated introductions of members, staff and guests.

II.    Adoption of Minutes

       The Chair asked for approval of the Council’s October 19, 2011, draft minutes. Motions
       were made and seconded, and the minutes were approved.

III.   Public Testimony

       Dawn Liu and Nancy Correa with Children at Risk offered their organization as a
       resource to the Council regarding parent engagement and education as a strategy to
       improve child outcomes. Reagan Miller noted the Texas Early Learning Council (TELC)
       is addressing public awareness and parent education in its work. Terry Beattie suggested
       Ms. Liu and Ms. Correa talk to the Texas Home Visiting program. The Chair noted some
       of the Council committees may benefit from Children at Risk’s work.

      Elizabeth Tucker with Every Child, Inc. shared with the Council information about Every
      Child, Inc.’s work aimed at placing children living in facilities with a dual developmental
      and mental health diagnosis into family-based alternatives. Ms. Tucker recommended the
      Council look at recommendations on ways to support families caring for this population,
      such as hands on training, modeling of strategies, and providing on-going support. Ms.
      Tucker recommended Texas consider replicating a model used in Kansas, which has
      produced good outcomes.

      Lauren Rose, representing Texans Care for Children, informed the Council that her
      organization is engaged in work to expand the use of positive behavioral interventions
      and supports (PBIS) within schools across the state. Supported by grant funding from the
      Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, Texans Care for Children will convene stakeholders
      to develop a plan on how the state can assist schools seeking to implement PBIS on a
      school-wide basis. Jan Lindsey indicated interest in learning more to see how TEA can
      assist. Linda Brooke indicated the juvenile justice system has seen positive outcomes
      with PBIS when it is implemented to fidelity.

IV.   Council Business Operations

      A. Council Leadership

         Sherri Hammack reported that Luanne Southern’s term as the Council’s current
         presiding officer is expiring. Ms. Southern will continue to serve on the Council as
         the DSHS designated representative. The Chair Elect, Ms. Townsend, will step into
         the role of Chairperson. The Council needs to form a Nominations Committee to
         make recommendations to the Council at its next meeting on the selection of another
         Chair-Elect. The Chair reviewed the Nominating Committee’s process and asked for
         volunteers to serve on this committee. Mr. Beattie and Ms. Brooke volunteered to
         serve on the Nominating Committee.

      B. Public Member Representative
         Ms. Hammack indicated the Council has 16 applicants for the open vacancy for a
         parent representative. HHSC staff have screened the top tier and requested Council
         guidance on the final recommendations due to the strength of the pool of applicants.
         The Nominating Committee will provide guidance to HHSC staff on selecting a
         public member and will present its recommendations to the Council at the April 18,
         2012, quarterly meeting.

      C. Data Sharing (SB 717)

         Ms. Hammack spoke to the Council’s request to receive a review of public testimony
         submitted during legislative hearings regarding information sharing between agencies
         related to children, in order to assist the Council in its legislative charge put forth by
         S.B. 717, 82nd Legislature, Regular Session, 2011. Ms. Rose provided the Council
         with a summary of public testimony provided during a hearing on an interim charge
         of the 81st Legislature, Regular Session, and during a legislative hearing on

   S.B. 1106, 82nd Legislature, Regular Session, 2011, both of which related to the
   exchange of confidential information concerning juveniles between agencies.
   Concerns expressed during the public hearings related to agencies not being clear on
   rules surrounding privacy; technology; and, the time and constraints associated with
   developing memorandums of understanding between agencies. Kim Wedel inquired if
   there were any concerns on behalf of parents; Ms. Rose indicated concerns by parents
   were not expressed during the legislative hearings. Eileen Garcia, with Texans Care
   for Children, shared with the Council that during the legislative session her
   organization heard from parents expressing the need for greater information sharing
   between agencies, and being unclear on how to provide consent for information

D. Council Communications Plan

   The Chair reviewed the Council’s work on developing a communications plan.
   Kathy Lee reported on research into opportunities to collaborate with other state
   agency bodies’ communication efforts; once available resources are identified, the
   Council can determine what communication activities it is interested in pursuing.
   Advertising agencies can assist if funding is available. Ms. Hammack reported the
   Achieving Successful Systems Enriching Texas (ASSET) initiative has hired a
   communications person to work on the state’s system of care expansion effort, and
   Mr. Beattie noted the state’s Raising Texas initiative is also working on a
   communications plan. The Chair expressed interest in hearing more about the ASSET
   and Raising Texas initiatives’ communications activities. Council members discussed
   where they should focus their messaging efforts and identified ways to collaborate
   with other groups on common areas.

E. Biennial LAR Analysis Report

   Ms. Wedel and Ms. Miller discussed the work of the LAR Report team to date and on
   upcoming deadlines. The LAR Report is due May 1, 2012, and Texans Care for
   Children and students from the University Of Texas LBJ School Of Public Affairs are
   assisting the team in its work. The report will include fiscal mapping and analysis.
   The team developed a template which captures funding reductions made prior to the
   82nd Regular Legislature, and loss of funding from the American Recovery and
   Investment Act (ARRA), in order to provide a more accurate comparison between the
   previous and current biennium. Agencies have been asked to fill out the template.
   Other members were requested to participate in this process in order for agencies to
   input on the front end on what analysis should be included. Once complete, the team
   will begin analyzing and mapping the data by the Council’s priority areas (early
   detection/childhood; mental and behavioral health; transitioning youth). Members
   discussed how to incorporate issues/areas of interest, which are not captured within
   the Council’s identified priority areas; and reporting on issues/areas that are clearly
   defined by strategy, and noting those which are embedded within various strategies.
   The Chair asked for agencies to respond to requests from the LAR Report

V.   Council Work Plan

     A. Early Childhood/Early Intervention

        Ms. Wedel reviewed the subcommittee’s work plan, which focuses on screenings.
        The subcommittee is working with the Raising Texas group, which has integrated its
        work with Texas Pediatric Society, state health services, and child protective services
        to ensure a focusing of common efforts. The work plan addresses screening activities,
        and parent and health provider education components. Priorities within the work plan
        include: (1) incorporating staff training related to talking with parents on the
        importance of screening into existing materials; next steps include determining where
        the new trainings will go; (2) developing a website that includes information on
        screenings for parents and providers; work has already started on this through Raising
        Texas, which will maintain the site; and, (3) increasing awareness of the importance
        of screening, including non-Medicaid populations; Raising Texas is developing a
        survey to help guide this work. The Chair noted the Council should think about where
        some of these activities can connect within the evolving communication plan, and the
        possibility of including information both on how to give parental consent, and
        providing parents with information on where screening information is released.

     B. Youth Transition
        Ms. Miller reported the subcommittee’s primary focus has been on how to create
        online availability of information related to programs and services for families with
        youth who are transitioning to adulthood. The subcommittee is investigating
        opportunities in using social media; barriers encountered include determining where
        such resources would be hosted and who would maintain them. The subcommittee is
        also focusing on identifying what resources are available for youth and families,
        including Texas 211 Information and Referral Service and the DFPS Texas Youth
        Connection. Ms. Miller requested Council members to remind their (respective)
        agencies’ programs and divisions to provide the state 211 office and the regional Area
        Information Centers (AICs) with updated information on available programs and
        services. Discussions with Texas 211indicate most calls from youth aged 18-21 are
        related to basic needs (housing, rent assistance, food, etc.), indicating a need for more
        outreach to the housing community, including the Texas Department of Housing and
        Community Affairs TDHCA); calls from youth 17 years old and younger reflect
        service-related needs. Debra Emerson, DFPS, is looking at opportunities with the
        Texas Youth Connections website maintained by the agency, such as making sure the
        information is current, easily understood and navigable. Council members are asked
        to verify the Texas Youth Connection website has information on each member
        agency’s programs. The subcommittee is also researching opportunities to address the
        needs of transitioning youth within the state agencies’ strategic plans. Ms. Lindsey
        asked if the subcommittee was addressing college/career activities; the Texas Higher
        Education Coordinating Board’s P16 Council has been engaged; the subcommittee
        has researched the availability of job training information from Texas 211. Ms.
        Lindsey also shared information about the TEA “Own Your Own Future” website,
        that is supported by grants and which provides information for college-bound

         students. Ms. Lee suggested the evolving communications plan focus on linking
         families and agencies to one central location where they can find information that
         would be mapped out from birth to transitioning youth. Mr. Beattie noted the first
         recommendation in the Task Force for Children with Special Needs (TFCSN) “Five
         Year Plan for Children with Special Needs 2011-2016” report is to establish an
         interagency, non-agency single portal website for parents of children with special
         needs. Ms. Miller noted the subcommittee’s February meeting will focus on mapping
         out existing resources so it can begin to determine how to tie all the resources and
         services together for families. Ms. Hammack recommended looking at the use of
         mobile apps as part of this work, noting that other agencies have begun to use social

      C. Mental Health/Behavioral Health

         Ms. Brooke reported on activities of the Mental Health/Behavioral Health
         subcommittee, which has researched state efforts addressing students’ behavioral
         health, including: 1) programs available to children and youth across the board;
         2) identifying quality programs at TEA and methods to promote these programs; and,
         3) exploring and reviewing modalities for home-schooled, charter-schooled, and ISDs
         charged with reaching out and finding children and youth eligible for special
         education services (related to the “child find” statutes). The subcommittee, which has
         been looking at financial opportunities and models, requested guidance from the
         Council on the following work plan options it is considering: 1) how to raise
         awareness of effective programs; 2) research and identification of peer-to-peer
         supports; 3) development of social-emotional resources and services; and, 4)
         promoting evidence-based projects. Ms. Brooke noted the subcommittee is working
         with Raising Texas to identify programs within the child care system that are
         designed to promote healthy social-emotional development in pre-school aged
         children, and is interested in reaching out to the Texas Pediatric Society to learn of its
         efforts to address the impact of toxic stress on children’s development. The ASSET
         project is working on identifying cross-systems activities that would support
         establishment of a social-emotional development institute that promotes the use of
         evidence-based practices; Ms. Hammack, ASSET project lead, will advise the
         Council of opportunities to provide support and guidance to this effort. Kirk Cole
         provided information on the comprehensive independent analysis of the state’s
         legislatively-mandated public behavioral health system; information about this study
         is posted on the DSHS website, reference:
         analysis.aspx .

VI.   Council Legislative Report

      The Chair alerted Council members to upcoming opportunities to assist in drafting the
      Council’s 2012 Legislative Report. Francesca Kupper reviewed the proposed production
      timeline for development and publication of the report. Council members discussed the
      timeline and proposed a number of changes and additions, including initiating
      stakeholder input in February, and developing a document of all public testimony given

      at the Council’s quarterly meetings to inform the drafting of the report. Members
      discussed additional mechanisms it may consider in the report’s development, including a
      review of state agencies’ strategic plans, recommendations made by other advisory
      bodies, and, researching the use of webinars and/or conference calls to allow for a
      broader range of stakeholder participation. Ms. Hammack requested Council member
      sponsorship to help identify broad recommendations from the Council, in addition to the
      recommendations offered by the three priority area subcommittees. Mr. Beattie and
      Ms. Lee volunteered to serve on the 2012 Legislative Report team, with the Chair serving
      as an ad hoc member. The Chair also indicated members may be asked for specific
      contributions to the drafting of the report at the next Council meeting.

VIII. Presentation from Texas Association of Regional Councils (TARC)

      Ginny Lewis, Associate Director of the Texas Association of Regional Councils (TARC),
      provided an overview of the association, the regional councils it represents, and regional
      council activities that may complement the work of the Council. The Councils of
      Government (COGs) are voluntary associations of governments created by agreement
      between cities and counties. Regional boundaries are set by governor at end of each
      Texas legislative session; COGs are granted powers and duties in Chapters 391 of the
      Texas Local Government Code to plan for development of a region, to eliminate
      duplication of services, and to promote efficiencies in services in counties. A governing
      board is made up of elected officials in the area, school districts officials, and members of
      the public. Each COG creates systems of governance that meet its needs, and each COG
      board sets standards of what functions it provides, leading to variations across the COGs.
      Over 2,000 local governments participate in COGs, and most of the Area Agencies on
      Aging (AAAs) are attached to COGs. Other activities typically include 911 services,
      emergency communications, and economic development. Ms. Lewis indicated COGs use
      schools to distribute information, and suggested this may present a communications
      opportunity for the Council. Some COGs address law enforcement and justice issues,
      including trainings. Many COGs are experiencing extreme difficulty in providing
      services with inadequate funds. The TARC works on behalf of the 24 COGs as a liaison
      to state government and to assist in identifying efficiencies. The Chair inquired as to
      concerns of COGs related to children and families; Ms. Lewis indicated children and
      families have not been an area specifically discussed by the association and its members,
      but that some COGs are soliciting grants to provide health and human services to children
      and families. The TARC will be meeting with legislative committee staff this spring who
      are interested in learning more about health and human services provided by COGs
      outside of aging services. Ms. Lewis noted the COGs would be open to a discussion
      regarding (their) serving as a potential convener for regional planning on children and
      family issues, suggesting some COGs are likely to have different levels of interest. She
      recommended having a Council member attend a TARC Executive Council meeting
      and/or attend a quarterly TARC meeting to speak directly to elected officials on the
      board. Council members inquired as to the COGs’ thoughts on local collaboration within
      their (respective) communities; emerging uses related to health and human service issues;
      non-funding issues impacting the delivery of services; and, overarching issues COGs
      spend a lot of time addressing. Ms. Hammack suggested exploring a partnership with

      both the TARC and United Way of Texas, to establish a communication/information
      loop. The Chair suggested following up on common activities/interests to leverage
      resources and better connections. Reference:

IX.   Update -- Task Force for Children with Special Needs

      Mr. Beattie provided a TFCSN update: the five-year strategic plan was completed and
      submitted in late October, 2011, and contains seven overarching goals which were built
      upon more than 100 recommendations. The Task Force is in the process of sifting
      through the recommendations and will determine its initial priorities at its next meeting in
      February 2012. The Chair noted the need to identify intersections between the Council
      and the Task Force, and for a Council reading of the Task Force’s strategic plan in order
      to determine possible leverage points for inclusion in the Council’s 2012 Legislative

X.    Update – Center for Elimination of Disproportionality and Disparities

      Sheila Craig, of the HHSC Center for Elimination of Disproportionality and Disparities,
      provided the Council with an update on the Center’s activities: it has gained 13 regional
      disproportionality and disparities specialists transferred from DFPS who will expand their
      advisory committees; work with all HHSC Enterprise agencies, and other agencies under
      SB 501; and, will begin to share data within their (respective) communities. The Center is
      continuing to engage internal and external systems and community partners in raising
      awareness around disproportionality and disparities, including working with universities,
      schools, police, and faith-based communities. In particular, the Center is working with
      Tarrant County Community College to assist it in raising awareness of students, staff and
      faculty on the impact of disproportionality and disparities. The Center is also engaged in
      special projects, including a study of Medicaid underutilization by families in Houston
      and Austin, and, a partnership with the Dallas ISD for mandated report training.

      The Interagency Council on Disproportionality and Disparities is meeting on February
      27, 2012, which is open to the public. The Council’s first legislative report is due
      December 1, 2012, and will include recommendations for the legislature to consider. The
      Chair asked if there were areas in which the two councils could collaborate between the
      respective reports; Ms. Craig indicated there can be resource sharing and collaboration.
      The Chair also recommended similar messaging and recommendations within the
      respective reports. Mr. Beattie suggested the Center sit in on the Council’s meeting with
      the Texas Pediatric Society on the issue of toxic stress; Ms. Craig expressed an interest in
      attending, and indicated the Center is also meeting with the Texas Medical Association.

XI.   Next Meeting
      9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., April 18, 2012, Brown-Heatly Public Hearing Room 1420.


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