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Quarterly Newsletter SPRING Volume Issue FEDERAL BUDGET PROPOSALS THREATEN THE Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                        Quarterly Newsletter

                        SPRING 2003                                                     Volume 7, Issue 1

  FEDERAL BUDGET PROPOSALS THREATEN THE                                                   FOR THOUGHT…
    WELL-BEING OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES                                                        By now most everyone has
                                                                                          read about or heard about our
     The new spending plan proposed         Early Head Start.                             state's budget crisis. It is the sub-
recently by the Bush Administration              The proposal would replace fed-          ject of conversation at every cof-
seeks to dismantle critical programs        eral grants provided directly to com-         fee shop in the state.
for children at a time when they need       munity organizations with state con-               At CrossRoads we are
it the most. The Bush Administra-           trol of the program and would elimi-          acutely aware of the situation and
tion's FY 2004 budget includes an           nate the performance standards that           expect some major changes to
untested, radical proposal to give the      are the core of the program's suc-            affect us. We have already seen
states the leeway to dismantle Head         cess. Responsibility for the program          a huge downturn in placements in
Start. It makes significant cuts to         would also shift from the U.S. Depart-        our emergency shelter and may
other child care, early education, and      ment of Health and Human Services             end up having to make a reduc-
school-age care programs. The Ad-           to the U.S. Department of Education.          tion in staff if the trend continues.
ministration also proposes to merge         Such changes would gamble the fu-             In addition, there may be cuts that
Medicaid and the Children's Health          tures of the nearly 1 million children        affect our prevention programs
Insurance Program (CHIP) funding to         who currently participate in Head             that go a long way in keeping chil-
form a block grant that will force chil-    Start.                                        dren out of domestic violence
dren, seniors, and people with dis-              According to a press release             situations and subsequent shel-
abilities to compete for inadequate         from the Department of Education,             ter / foster care placement. You
resources for needed medical cover-         although there would be no state re-          can understand how this would be
age. For more information about the         quirements under the Administra-              a nightmarish combination for kids
proposed changes to Medicaid and            tion's plan for Head Start, states            and families at risk.
CHIP, please contact Gregg Haifley          would be required to submit plans for              In the next 4 or 6 years we
at ghaifley@childrensdefense.org.           their share of the Head Start funds           Texans will be forced to answer
                                            that include the following compo-             tough questions about our states
PROPOSED CHANGES TO HEAD                    nents:                                        future, how we would like it to be
START                                       • States would have to explain how            and what we have to do to make it
      Head Start is unique in its com-           they will work with the public           happen. No one will get by with-
prehensive approach to supporting                schools at the state or local level      out sacrifice. My hope is that we
children and families, offering early            to develop the skills and behav-         would see the value in making
education, health care, social ser-              iors that children must possess to       sure our children are safe, edu-
vices, and nutrition services, while             perform well in kindergarten. The        cated and empowered to take
emphasizing parent involvement and               skills and behaviors should in-          their important place in our com-
building upon the strengths of local             clude language development;              munities.
communities. Head Start has helped               pre-reading skills including pho-
over 20 million children develop the             nological awareness, letter                                           Stan Hamlyn
                                                                                                                   Executive Director
skills needed to succeed in school               knowledge, and vocabulary; nu-
and move towards a productive fu-                meracy; and social and emo-
ture. The Head Start formula of com-             tional competence. The state will
prehensive services coupled with                 also explain how it will develop                  Inside this issue:
high performance standards and p       a-        and implement a set of guide-            From the President’s Pen             Pg. 2
rental and community involvement                 lines for use by individual pro-         CYFS Supporters                      Pg. 2
works. The Administration proposal               grams to develop these skills and
                                                                                          Shelter Statistics                   Pg. 2
would dismantle this formula for suc-            behaviors during the preschool
cess and expose our most disadvan-               years.                                   Prevention & Early Intervention      Pg. 3
taged children to a new and untested           • States must develop an account-          Program Director’s Report            Pg. 3
social experiment rather than getting            ability program that will indicate       Fundraising Events                   Pg. 5
help to the millions of eligible children
                                                                                          Child Welfare in Texas               Pg. 7
still not served by Head Start and
                                                                (Continued on page 4)     Children’s Mental Health Services    Pg. 7
Page 2                                                                                                CrossRoads Youth and Family Services

 From the President’s Pen…                                                      CYFS Supporters
 To all friends of Crossroads Youth and Family                       1st Baptist Church                   Cathy Mote
 Services:                                                           1st Victoria National Bank           Brenda Murphree
                                                                     5th Grade @ O'Connor Ele-            O'Connor & Hewitt Founda-
    I am looking forward to my new role as the                          mentary School                      tion
 President of the Board and to working with our                      Robert and Margaret Alvarez          Our Lady of Victory Altar So-
 Executive Director, Stan, and the other members                     Jessica Bordette                       ciety
 of the board. We have several new people on the                     Ruth S. Boyd                         Our Lady of Victory Cathe-
                                                                     Deborah Branch                         dral
 board as well as many board veterans. I believe
                                                                     Keith Brockwell                      Our Lady of Victory Giving
 we have a great group of people who are truly
                                                                     Bugmobiles Pest & Termite              Tree
 dedicated to the success of Crossroads Youth                           Control                           Our Lady of Victory School
 and Family Services.                                                Kimberly Burk                        Our Savior's Lutheran
      I would like to extend a fond farewell to David                Castaways                              Church
 Way who served as our Board President for two                       Cato Fashions                        Estella Perez
 years. David did a wonderful job of initiating and                  Crossroads Cruisers Car              Laurie Perez
 coordinating several new ideas for more board                          Club                              Pat Pooley
 involvement and board training. Thank your for all                  Dudley Elementary School             Nick Prochaska
 your hard work David!                                               Jill Elliot                          Tina Reyes
      With several new projects in the works and                     First Presbyterian Church            John and Roberta Riley
 funding issues for some of the programs currently                   Sheri Hanslik                        St. Joseph's Catholic Church
 in existence, 2003 promises to be a busy year.                      Gloria & Kelly Howard                St. Paul Lutheran Church
 As President of the board, I hope to create and                     Kathryn O'Connor Founda-             Tami Troell
                                                                        tion                              Shannon Trott
 implement some new fund raising opportunities
                                                                     Marjorie Koval                       Unity Church of Victoria
 for Crossroads Youth and Family Services and to
                                                                     Martin Luther Lutheran               University of Houston
 promote more community awareness of the role of                        Church - WELCA                    June Wasicek
 CYFS in our community. I’m confident that with                      Gene Martin                          Women of the Lutheran
 the assistance of a committed Board and the                         Melinda Massey                         Church
 guidance of our Executive Director, 2003 will be                    Lucille Matson                       Joni Yendrey
 another successful year for CYFS!                                   Mayor Gary Middleton

                                                     Elaine Brown          All contributions to CYFS are tax-exempt. To make a
                                                   Board President       donation, contact CYFS by mail, phone or by e    -mail.
                                                                         Donations by caring ci tizens like you help us provide
                                                                         services to more than 250 children in our shelter and
                                                                         400-600 children in our prevention program annually.

Shelter Statistics
                                                                     Texas Legislative Briefs
                                                                     Agencies Asked to Cut Budgets: State agencies have been noti-
                                                                     fied that they will soon have to provide reduced Legislative Appro-
                                                                     priations Requests (LARs) for FY 2004-2005, with amounts based
                                                                     on available revenues. This will put the onus on the agencies to
                                                                     make drastic cuts to their own budgets.

                                                                     House Appropriations Committee Named: House Speaker Tom
         40                                              Nov.02
                                                                     Craddick (R-Midland) named Talmadge Heflin (R-Houston) as Chair
                                                         Dec.02      of the House Appropriations Committee, as expected; along with a
                                                                     group of largely new and inexperienced legislators. While a smaller
                                                                     group will be named to work specifically on human service appro-
              0                                                      priations, the full committee will be influential in the budget process.
                                                                     Appropriations Committee Membership (*Health & Human Services Sub-
                                                                     CHAIR: Talmadge Heflin   VICE-CHAIR: Vilma Luna
                                                                     Leo Berman               Dan Ellis                Jose Menendez
                                                                     Dan Branch               Roberto Gutierrez        Joseph "Joe" Pickett
                                                                     Fred Brown               Peggy Hamric             Jim Pitts
 Be sure to visit us on the web at                                   Betty Brown
                                                                     Myra Crownover
                                                                                              Ruben Hope
                                                                                              Suzanna Gratia Hupp*
                                                                                                                       Richard Raymond
                                                                                                                       Jim Solis
      www.crossroadsfs.org                                           John Davis*              Carl Isett               Jack Stick
                                                                     Joseph "Joe" Deshotel    Elizabeth Ames Jones     Vicki Truitt*
                                                                     Dawnna Dukes*            Lois Kolkhorst           Sylvester Turner
                                                                     Craig Eiland*            Ruth Jones McClendon     Arlene Wohlgemuth*(Chair)
Volume 7, Issue 1                                                                                                     Page 3

  Prevention and Early Intervention
 Programs In Texas Department of Protective                          Program Director’s Update
        and Regulatory Services, PEI Division                            Any organization will   recognitions with the
                                                                    tell you the most impor-     choice of a day off or
  The Prevention and Early Intervention Services (PEI) Di-          tant resource they have      $50.00,       recognition
vision of PRS was established by the 76th Texas Legislature         is its people. Cross-        plaque for Employee of
and began operations in FY 2000. PEI manages commu-                 Roads employees are no       the Month in both the
nity-based programs that protect or prevent in areas of run-        exception.     They   are    conference room and the
ning away, family functioning, juvenile delinquency, school         trained to do their job,     downstairs       common
failure, teen pregnancy, and child abuse, neglect and ex-           demonstrate care in pro-     area, staff recognition at
ploitation. It also:                                                viding services and re-      events including the
  • helps communities enhance services provided through             ceive a competitive sal-     Christmas party and
     the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory              ary in doing so. Those       summer picnic and rec-
     Services;                                                      attributes are not all of    ognition during staff
  • assists communities in identifying prevention and early         what CrossRoads wants        meetings. Other acts of
     intervention needs, and                                        to recognize though.         recognition include per-
  • supports the development of, and modifications to, new          Letting our employees        sonal     notes,    verbal
     and existing programs designed to prevent or reduce            know they are important      praises, newsletter ac-
     poor outcomes for children, youth and their families.          and valuable to the or-      knowledgments, Child-
                                                                    ganization is one of the     care Staff of the Year
  PEI oversees eighteen programs with a current budget of           strategic goals Executive    nominations to TNOYS,
$63 million. These programs include:                                Director Stan Hamlyn         birthday parties, certifi-
                                                                    wants to achieve. Happy      cates of recognition for
Programs to Protect and Strengthen Children and Families            employees are produc-        special efforts, gifts for
       Community Based Family Resource & Support                    tive     employees…          committee participation
       Texas Families: Together and Safe (TFTS)                     therefore, a special com-    and employee support
       Second Chance Teen Parent Program                            mittee was created, con-     for achievements or per-
       Family Outreach                                              sisting of various ranks     sonal losses. All of these
       Healthy Texas Families                                       and levels of the organi-    things are being done in
       Children’s Trust Fund                                        zation. The committee        addition to the staff
       Tertiary and Secondary Child Abuse Prevention                was presented with the       benefits that include in-
       Community Initiatives for PEI                                challenge of recognizing     centive raises, longevity
       Child Protective Svc.                                        individuals in ways other    pay, personnel evalua-
                                                                    than pay raises.             tions, training opportuni-
Programs to Strengthen Youth and Their Families                          Committee members       ties, health insurance,
       Texas Youth and Runaway Hotlines                             Melody Delgado, Brandi       vacation and sick leave
       Community Youth Development (CYD) Program                    Dennis,      Debra    On-    and retirement contribu-
       Services To At-Risk Youth (STAR) Program                     drusek, Chris Flores,        tions.
       Facility-Based Youth Enrichment Activities                   Rose Lamas and Ken                The committee con-
       Dan Kubiak Buffalo Soldiers Heritage Program                 Bowen are responsible        tinues to brainstorm so
       At-Risk Mentoring (ARM)                                      for obtaining input from     please feel free to talk to
                                                                    the entire CrossRoads        any member. All recom-
Programs to Strengthen School Performance                           staff and bringing those     mendations are pre-
       Communities In Schools (CIS)                                 ideas back to the com-       sented to the Executive
       Parents As Teachers (PAT)                                    mittee. By doing so eve-     Director for review and
       Home Instruction Program for Preschool Young-                ryone has the opportu-       approval. Help us let our
         sters (HIPPY)                                              nity for representation      staff know we really a   p-
                                                                    and has input in staff       preciate them!
   Funding prevention and early intervention efforts for            recognition.
young people and their families produces long-term benefits              Some of the things
for society. According to research by the Office of Juvenile        being done now include                        Ken Bowen
Justice and Delinquency Prevention, communities can im-             Employee of the Month                    Program Director
prove chances for youth to lead healthy, productive, crime-
free lives by reducing economic and social needs and by
mitigating individual risk factors (e.g., poor family function-
ing, academic failure), while promoting youth’s abilities to
                                                                     QUICK FACT: Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of
                                                                     death for young Texans aged 15-24.
                                            (Continued on page 4)
  Page 4                                                                             CrossRoads Youth and Family Services
(Continued from page 1)                                                        (Continued from page 3)
    how well children in individual programs are performing relative to        (1) bond with peers, family members, and
    the skills and behaviors identified by the state as prerequisites for      mentors, (2) be productive in school,
    effective kindergarten performance. Accountability results by pro-         sports, and work, and (3) successfully
    gram will be made public and states will be encouraged to conduct          navigate the various rules and socially
    activities designed to help parents understand the results for their       accepted routines required in a variety of
    child and their child's program. To the maximum extent possible,           settings. Furthermore, PEI programs ad-
    states would be asked to allow parents a choice in the selection of        dress risk factors at the appropriate de-
    preschool programs.                                                        velopmental stage and as early as possi-
  • The state plan must result in, at a minimum, the same coverage to          ble; an implicit feature of successful pre-
    serve at least as many Head Start eligible three- and four-year-olds       vention efforts.
    as are currently being served through Head Start. The state plan              From 1989 to 1997, reports of child
    should identify the number of state dollars that were spent on state       abuse and neglect in Texas increased
    preschool programs and Head Start programs in the most recent fis-         and the number of confirmed cases rose
    cal year, and provide assurances that it will, at a minimum, maintain      at an alarming rate. Being abused or ne-
    this level of state spending each year. States must continue to pro-       glected multiplies the risk that a child will
    vide comprehensive services, including social, family, and health ser-     grow up to be violent. The risk of abuse
    vices.                                                                     and neglect drops when parents have
  • As far as professional development, states would be asked to pro-          adequate knowledge of how children de-
    vide information on their plan for assuring professional development       velop in their early years. Studies show
    opportunities for preschool teachers and administrators, but there         that roughly half of all abuse and neglect
    would be no specified requirement for teacher qualifications.              among high-risk families might be elimi-
                                                                               nated if at-risk parents were offered fam-
    States would be allowed to use Head Start funds reserved for train-        ily support programs, including home vi s-
ing and technical assistance to develop their plans. Nothing is said con-      its to those who want them. (Prevent
cerning how the training needs of Head Start programs will be met.             Child Abuse Texas)
                                                                                  PEI programs address the major indi-
PROPOSED CUTS IN OTHER CHILD CARE, EARLY EDUCATION,                            cators of “at-risk” status among children
AND SCHOOL-AGE PROGRAMS                                                        and youth, and offer programming to help
    In addition to these changes to Head Start, the President's budget         avert more intensive and costly interven-
also contains devastating funding proposals for other critical children's      tions. The Juvenile Justice system should
programs:                                                                      be a last resort for dealing with children,
  • There are no additional funds for the Child Care and Development           but all too often it is the only stop for chil-
    Block Grant, even though the welfare proposal requires more moth-          dren who have been abused, neglected,
    ers to go to work for longer hours. This would result in 30,000 chil-      or who have not received needed early
    dren losing child care assistance next year. Even the Administra-          intervention services. Texas must fund
    tion's own budget analysis shows that by the year 2007, at least           prevention and early intervention pro-
    200,000 fewer children will be served.                                     grams for children, youth and families,
  • The budget proposal would also cut the 21st Century Community              with adequate outreach to minority com-
    Learning Center after-school program by $400 million (40 percent of        munities, to help young people remain
    its current budget), causing 570,000 children to lose after-school         with their families and avoid involvement
    care.                                                                      with the juvenile justice system. The com-
  • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) infants and         munity-based services provided through
    toddlers program would be cut by $27 million, and funding for the          PEI are essential to the support and well
    IDEA preschool program would be frozen.                                    being of Texas families.
  • Funding for both the Campus-Based Child Care and the Early Child-
    hood Educator Professional Development Program would be frozen
    at $15 million, and Even Start would be cut by $45 million.                Kid Warmer...
  • Elimination of the Early Learning Opportunities Act and the Child              Fortunate are children who have par-
    Care Provider Loan Forgiveness Program has also been proposed.             ents and grandparents who teach them
                                                                               manners. Two of the most important
     Child care and after school activities are essential to help families     words in the English language are please
work and keep children safe. Currently only one in seven children eligible     and thank you. But children often need
for federal child care assistance gets help, and over 7 million children are   gentle reminders to say them. Many
left home alone after school each week. Taken together, these cuts and         years ago my friend Deb, an English
changes would undermine the needs of children and the important pro-           teacher, responded to a request from her
grams that serve them. Please speak out on these proposals so that             little boy this way: "What's the magic
your voice is heard! Call and write to your Members of Congress and let        word?" Mark, 4, thought hard and then
them know what you think.                                                      said, "Abracadabra?"
                                                                                               -- Grace Witwer Housholder
Volume 7, Issue 1                                                                                                   Page 5

                                                                                         Elementary Chess
                                                                                          Clubs Established
                                                                                              There are 10 kids enrolled
                                                                                           at O’Connor Elementary in
                                                                                               the chess class, with 2
                                                                                                       teacher sponsors.
                                                                                                              Rucker vol-
                                                                                      unteers to teach the class. He is
                                                                                      a retired commercial artist and
                                                                                      sponsored the Victoria Chess
                                                                                      Club for many years.
                                                                                         The group meets every Thurs-
                    O’Connor Elementary School Chess Club - Victoria, Texas           day from 3:30 to 4:30 and atten-
                                                                                      dance is taken just like a regular
                      January was National Mentoring Month.                           class. Mr. Carroll, the Assistant
                     For more information visit www.txserve.org.                      Principal at O’Connor Elemen-
                                                                                      tary, has provided the chess sets
 To join the e-mail network for the Children’s Defense Fund, sign up on their         and a demonstration board where
   website at www.childrensdefense.org or send an e-mail to: subscribe-               chess concepts are taught. He
                        cdfchildcare@v2.listbox.com.                                  has also purchased chess litera-
                                                                                      ture including a beginner's hand-
         Upcoming Fundraising Events benefiting                                       book and checks them out to stu-
         CrossRoads Youth and Family Services                                            The Hopkins Elementary chess
                                                                                      club has 8 to 10 kids also. Chris
Early Birdie Golf Tourney - March 29, 2003 at Colony Creek County                     Flores with the CrossRoads
                                Club Victoria, TX ~ 12:30 pm shotgun start            Youth and Family Services SNAP
                                    Hole in One Contest Sponsored by Killebrew        program uses his own equipment
                                     Dodge ~ Win a New Dodge Ram Pickup !!            and chess literature to teach the
                                  Other Contests include: Putting Contest, Longest    kids different concepts. They
                                    Drive, Closest to the Hole, Par Three Poker       meet from 3:30 to 5:00 pm and
                                                                                      Jennifer Perez has been volun-
    Four Person Teams / Any Handicap Combination / Play your own ball                 teering to assist Chris.
 Best Low Net Score + Best Low Gross Score Determines your Team Score                    Two of the kids in the O'Connor
All Handicaps must be verifiable and Committee reserves right to adjust               Chess Club and 3 kids in the
 Registration is limited to the first 30 teams paid. Free BBQ on the Course /         Hopkins Chess Club have quali-
                             Caps for all Participants                                fied to receive free memberships
                      Registration Fee is $300 per team.                              to the USCF (the national sanc-
                      Prizes: 1st Place—$1,200 (guaranteed)                           tioning body). Those that qualify,
                                  2nd Place—$600                                      receive membership cards, an
                                  3rd Place—$400                                      actual rating and a subscription to
                                  4th Place—$200                                      a chess magazine geared to-
                                                                                      wards kids their age. To qualify
2003 Sponsorship Programs Available                                                   kids have to be on the free lunch
Gold Sponsorship $1,000. Includes TWO FREE team entries, name on tournament           program.
                                      banner (24”)                                       Plans are being made for some
Blue Sponsorship $ 500. Includes ONE FREE team entry, name on the tournament          National Honor Society (NHS)
                                      banner (18”)                                    students from Memorial High to
White Sponsorship $ 250. Includes name on the tournament banner (10”)                 volunteer at the clubs as a way to
Hole Sponsorship $ 100. Includes name on a sign at one hole. (Donor does not get to   get academics and role modeling
                                      choose which hole)
                                                                                      combined into a mentoring type
Schlotzsky's Bun Run - May 3, 2003 at Riverside Park, Victoria, TX                    setting. The NHS sponsor has
                                                                                      been contacted and is very ex-
For more information regarding any of our upcoming fundraising events you             cited about the proposal. It is
can visit us on the web at www.crossroadsfs.org/fundraising.htm All forms             also hoped that an end of the
are available for download online. For additional information contact Stan            year tournament can be sched-
Hamlyn at 361-578-3686 x12 or sh-cyfs@viptx.net.                                      uled between the chess clubs.
Page 6                                                                                  CrossRoads Youth and Family Services

                               Kid                          Spot

                                                                 Happy Birthday!
                                            Erika Roessler        December 2       Emma Rodriguez      January 16
                                            Margie Roberts        December 9       Rose Lamas          January 18
                                            Keith Hill            December 12      Helen Diaz          February 3
                                            Melissa Galvan        December 14      Myrlene Diekhoff    February 3
         December 2002                      Kristie Griffin       December 19      Pamela Body         February 5
                                            Domingo Villarreal    December 30      Melody Delgado      February 12
         Margie Roberts - SNAP              Margaret Kight        January 2        Magdalene Mata      February 17
         Deon Scott - Shelter               Dolores Tucker        January 8        Sal Sendejo         February 19
                                            Chris Flores          January 9
         January 2003
         Melissa Galvan - SNAP                              Happy Anniversary!
                                                                  Margie Roberts      2 years
                                                                  Tyra Grant          6 years
                                                                  Chris Flores        1 year

                Employee Christmas Party
         The CYFS Annual Christmas Party was held December 13, 2002 at Colony
Creek Country Club. Everyone attending enjoyed great food, wonderful decorations
and the opportunity to visit with fellow coworkers.
 Volume 7, Issue 1                                                                                                          Page 7

 Child Welfare in Texas                      these children.
                                           • The turnover rate of Texas case-
                                                                                      Children's Mental Health
   Children subjected to abuse and           workers was almost 28% in FY             Community Services in
neglect are at increased risk for sub-       2001. The statewide caseworker                    Texas
stance abuse, delinquency, truancy,          turnover rate in FY 2002 as of late      Adapted from the Mental Health Association in
school dropout, suicide, violence,           2002 was 22.1%. The drop in turn-              Texas and TNOYS 2/6/03 Report
and gang involvement.                        over was highest in Region 3
   Abused and neglected children are         (Tarrant and Dallas counties) due           Too many Texas children suffering
53% more likely to be arrested as            to a training/support pilot project      with mental health issues do not receive
juveniles and are 38% more likely to         that successfully reduced turnover       the services they need. Texas is the
be arrested for a violent crime.             from 45% to 24%. This project            second largest state and has the sec-
   Texas spent $24 per person in             also generated useful information        ond fastest growing population, but we
1998 on the public child welfare sys-        about strategies that work to retain     spend fewer dollars per person on the
tem, compared to the $58 national            these trained, professional employ-      public mental health system than 42
average. In fiscal year 2001, over           ees, but the initiative has not yet      other states. 73% of children in Texas
170,000 Texas children were re-              been implemented elsewhere.              with serious emotional disturbances
ported as abused or neglected.                                                        who were eligible for public services did
112,000 of these reports were inves -      Kinship Care Unpaid                        not receive treatment from the public
tigated, and 43,000 children were             Relatives offer the greatest conti-     mental health system in 2001.
confirmed to be victims of abuse or        nuity for children who need place-            Estimates for Texas indicate that
neglect. 195 children died as a re-        ment. But kinship caregivers who           more than 600,000 children have a
sult of abuse or neglect in 2001. 73%      take children who are in the CPS           mental health disorder. Of those, it is
of these children were age 3 or            system receive fewer services than         estimated that 150,000 meet the criteria
younger.                                   foster families, including training, res- for serious emotional disturbance and
                                           pite care, and support groups and          are eligible for publicly funded services.
Child Protective Services
                                           25% of children placed in unpaid kin- However, the Texas Department of
                                           ship care by CPS are returned to the Mental Health and Mental Retardation
  The Texas child welfare system
                                           system, often because they go with- (TDMHMR) was able to provide ser-
continues to overload caseworkers.                                                    vices to only about 25% of these chil-
                                           out needed services and support
• During the early 1990s, the ave r-                                                  dren (about 38,000) in fiscal year 2001.
                                           necessary to care for these often
  age number of children in paid fos-      troubled children                             Left without help, these children face
  ter care experienced double-digit           Families outside of the CPS sys-        problems in school, relationships, and a
  increases. Projected growth in this      tem need help too. Over 257,000            higher risk of involvement in drugs or
  population is 5.5% in FY 2003,           grandparents in Texas are responsi- the criminal justice system. Texas must
  4.6% in FY 2004, and 4.4% in             ble for meeting the basic needs of         fund children’s mental health services
  2005.                                    their grandchildren, but these and         that identify and treat problems early,
• At the Texas Department of Pro-          other relative caregivers may not          before they multiply and create greater
  tective and Regulatory Services          know what services exist. Caregiv-         need for more costly services.
  (TDPRS), average caseloads are           ers need assistance in obtaining the          There was no state funding specifi-
  27 children per Children’s Protec-       necessary paperwork to ensure they cally for children's mental health needs
  tive Services (CPS) caseworker.          can take the children to the doctor,       until 1989, when $22 million was appro-
  The Child Welfare League of              enroll them in school. They also           priated to the Texas Children's Mental
  America recommends a maximum             need to know what programs and             Health Plan. Since that time, general
  of 12 cases per worker. Texas            services exist in their communities        revenue funding grew to a peak of $60
  workers have an average of 6             that can help them provide for the         million, and was decreased by $5.8 mil-
  hours per month to devote to each        children in their care or custody.         lion in the 2001 legislative session due
  child on their caseload - this is not                                               to the generous mental health benefit in
  enough time to properly serve            Adapted from TNOYS Policy Alert 2/6/2003 ~
                                           Child Welfare Fact Sheet                   the Texas CHIP plan.
                                                                                         The state’s contribution of $27 million
                                                                                      in GR equates to $184 available per
                                                                                      year to serve each child who is pre-
                                                                                      dicted to seek and be eligible for ser-
                    Welcome New Employees!                                            vices from the public mental health sys-
    CrossRoads Youth & Family Services wishes to welcome the following                tem. A May 2002 report by the Texas
                   individuals to the CrossRoads staff family:                        Criminal Justice Policy Council showed
                                                                                      that in fiscal year 2001, 44.5% of Texas
                                 Margaret Kight                                       Youth Commission (TYC) parolees and
                                Magdalena Mata                                        22.4% of juveniles on probation had a

                                                                                                               (Continued on page 8)
CROSSROADS                                                                                                         Non-Profit Organization
                                                                                                                     US Postage Paid
            Youth and Family Services                                                                                 Victoria, Texas
                      P.O. Box 436                                                                                  Permit Number 138
                     Victoria, Texas 77902

   Children's Advocacy Day and Youth In Action,            (Continued from page 7)
held January 29th, brought a sizable and very enthu-       history of contact with the Texas public mental health system.
siastic crowd of supporters to the Texas Capital. An         Every year, Texas families are forced to give custody of their children
estimated 240 people attended Children's Advocacy          to the state so the children can receive needed mental health services.
Day, and 200 youth and adult sponsors participated         PRS estimates that 2,000 children were in the state’s custody at some
in Youth In Action. 16-year-old Melissa Petry, youth       point during 2001 because their parents voluntarily relinquished cus-
keynote speaker from Azle, TX, spoke eloquently on         tody, most for the sole purpose of accessing mental health care for their
the steps of the Capitol of the importance of listening    children. Desperate to help their children but unable to afford the high
to what young people have to say about policies and        cost of treatment, some parents feel they have no other option but to
laws that impact their lives.
                                                           give up their parental rights to the state or personally press charges
   A second capital rally was planned for Children’s
Advocacy Day on February 13, 2003. Hundreds of             against their child so the child enters the juvenile justice system.
young people and children’s are expected to attend           Many of these families are working middle-class families with access
the event on the capitol steps to send a Texas-sized       to health insurance that is inadequate to meet the needs of a child who
Valentine to lawmakers asking them to "keep the            has a serious emotional disturbance.
cause of children in their hearts," according to Tex-        In addition to its $30 million children’s mental health biennial request,
ans Care for Children Executive Director Susan Cra-        TDMHMR has requested $32.6 million in additional general revenue
ven. Event organizers will send the Valentine,             funding for three critical Exceptional Items (#9 in LAR) that serve chil-
signed by Texas children and youth, to Gov. Rick           dren in need:
Perry, Texas legislators and President Bush.                 • $3.3 M to serve children with an individualized wraparound ap-
   The Capitol rally is part of Children’s Advocacy             proach, including intensive community-based treatment and sup-
Day in Austin, a biennial event sponsored by Texans             ports, and short-term inpatient/residential placements, if needed, to
Care for Children, a non-partisan, non-profit network           target children who have had multiple or prolonged inpatient or resi-
of individuals and organizations dedicated to the
                                                                dential treatment.
well-being of Texas children. Hundreds of teen-
agers with the Texas Network of Youth Services               • $8.1 M to help prevent the removal of children from their homes in
"Youth in Action" event, held in conjunction with               order to receive mental health services, including families who are
Children’s Advocacy Day, will join in the rally and             likely to relinquish custody of their child to the state to access resi-
presentation. "As legislators work in a session that            dential mental health treatment.
is bound to be dominated by redistricting, we want to        • $21.2 M toward early intervention services, targeted to serving chil-
remind them to keep front and center issues that are            dren ages three to six with treatment and supports, parent training,
so critical to the needs of children," said Phil Strick-        and training of childcare providers.
land, Texans Care for Children Board President.