|By PR Newswire||
|August 27, 2014 10:30 AM EDT||
FORT WORTH, Texas, Aug. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As part of a statewide effort to improve the care provided to Texas' most vulnerable citizens, ACH Child and Family Services is preparing to fully launch a Foster Care Redesign initiative with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS) on Sept. 1, 2014. ACH, a nonprofit agency that has served children and families for nearly 100 years, will coordinate foster care services for children in seven Texas counties, in partnership with a network of provider agencies.
The move is part of a statewide effort to redesign foster care services. TDFPS awarded ACH a contract to oversee the delivery of those services in Tarrant, Palo Pinto, Parker, Johnson, Hood, Somervell and Erath counties. The project will be managed by Our Community Our Kids, a division of ACH created specifically for that purpose.
ACH Child and Family Services CEO Wayne Carson said the agency has conducted extensive research, studied similar efforts in other states, partnered with a network of providers, and engaged local business and community leaders and national experts to support best practices. Our Community Our Kids has also hired a team of qualified professionals in the areas of care management, quality and contracts, finance and community relations to support the performance and quality of the provider network.
"We have long-standing relationships with many of the organizations and agencies involved in caring for and nurturing children in our communities," Carson said. "We are excited about the opportunity to create a strong network of providers working together to achieve the best possible results for the children in our care. We know the community is counting on us to get this right and we are confident that we will."
In 2010, the Public Private Partnership, a group of statewide experts appointed by the commissioner of TDFPS, was formed to address specific problems with the foster care system. Problems identified included services and placements not being available where children needed them, and some children being placed hundreds of miles away from their home communities, siblings, schools and other support networks. The group reviewed several plans for improving outcomes and unanimously recommended the Foster Care Redesign approach now being implemented. Similar models have proven effective at significantly improving outcomes for children in foster care in other states.
"Foster Care Redesign offers targeted goals designed solely to improve services and outcomes for children," said Judge John Specia, TDFPS 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."
Our Community Our Kids will work with provider agencies to ensure that children and youth are safe in foster care, have stability in their placement, are able to maintain a connection to family and community, are fully prepared for adulthood, are placed in the least restrictive placement setting, and are able to participate in decisions that impact their lives.
About ACH Child and Family Services
Established in 1915, ACH Child and Family Services is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting children and preserving families in North Texas through a broad range of services. Based in Fort Worth, Texas, the agency provides foster care services and therapeutic and prevention programs to over 3,000 children, youth and families each year. The agency also offers outreach services to more than 8,000 young people annually, through a variety of educational programs.
In 2013, as part of a statewide foster care redesign effort, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services selected ACH as a Single Source Continuum Contractor (SSCC) to oversee the delivery of foster care services in Texas Region 3b, which includes Tarrant, Palo Pinto, Parker, Johnson, Hood, Somervell and Erath counties. Effective Sept. 1, 2014, oversight and accountability for foster care providers in that network will be managed by Our Community Our Kids, a newly formed division of ACH. For more information, go to www.oc-ok.org.
SOURCE ACH Child and Family Services