Redesign of the CPS Foster Care System in Texas
Dr. Wayne Carter, Chief Executive Officer of ACH Child and Family Services, led an interesting talk at the June luncheon on the efforts of ACH to redesign and bring new innovations to the CPS Foster Care System in Texas.
One of the problems with the disorganized foster care system is that “there really isn’t a quarterback to oversee the system,” Carson stated. The community based care solution that has been implemented through ACH Child and Family Services is known as Our Community, Our Kids. This community based care program seeks to solve some of the problems in the current foster care system in Texas, including a lack of quality foster families, little accountability for performance and lack of coordination in services. In addition, he said there is not an adequate capacity to serve youth with therapeutic needs.
The advantages of the community based model include clearly defined and measurable outcomes, clear accountability, local relationships and flexibility to be innovative. In addition, by consolidating oversight of the 7-county region, the data is much more accessible.
Taking on this challenge has not been without risk. But Carson said, “we believed as a 100-year non-profit whose mission is to support children and families, we had an opportunity to shape policy in the state of Texas.” Now in its fourth year, the community based model developed for foster care through ACH is beginning to be copied in other areas of Texas.