Five year strategic plan texas department of family

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FIVE-YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN

SEPTEMBER 2016

PEI expresses its sincere gratitude to Casey Family Programs for its generous support of this strategic planning process.

Prevention Is the Solution

Strategic plan sets direction for family-strengthening work in Texas

Dear Texans:

Earlier this year when I took the reins of the Department of Family of Protective Services, I did so because I can think of nothing more important than the safety and well-being of our children. Texas values its nearly 7 million children, and for many families, DFPS is there to support them and the communities in which they live.

While well-publicized changes are underway to strengthen the Child Protective Services system, DFPS's Prevention and Early Intervention division has been and continues to be a wellspring of innovation and hope. Amidst a Sunset Review process, a merger with Texas Home Visiting and an ongoing transformation of the Texas Health and Human Services System, PEI has launched new programs, grown its capacity to serve more clients, and with this plan, is setting forth a vision, a philosophy and a strategic framework for strengthening families in Texas.

PEI's new five-year strategic plan is the culmination of a year-long process of gathering public input, putting our best minds to work on our toughest challenges and ultimately planting a stake in the ground. Our plan aligns with the overarching recommendation of both the Federal Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities and Texas' Protect Our Kids Commission: a comprehensive public-health approach that recognizes the importance of strong, integrated and collective responsibility, and is coordinated across agencies and within communities, is the most promising approach to eliminating child abuse and neglect fatalities.

As we embark on this most important work, let us do so together, with focus and resolve to make Texas even better for the next generation.

Knowing that half of children who die from abuse or neglect in Texas have no prior involvement with DFPS, I am confident that casting a wide, protective net will, over time, reduce preventable child fatalities. I am similarly confident that Associate Commissioner Sasha Rasco and her team will continue to monitor program effectiveness and make strategic decisions based on the best available data and with guidance from the Prevention Advisory Committee, contractors and other experts in the field.

As we embark on this most important work, let us do so together, with focus and resolve to make Texas even better for the next generation.

Sincerely,

Commissioner Hank Whitman Department of Family and Protective Services

The program has benefitted me because I am a first-time mother and I didn't know that my baby listens to me when I read her books. Also, they have taught me how to do exercises for stress and they have given me many instructions on how to be a better parent.

home visiting client

Preventing Child Maltreatment and Promoting Healthy Development Go Hand in Hand

Dual strategy reflected in new five-year strategic plan

Lawmakers, colleagues and community stakeholders:

We know more today than ever before about how child abuse, neglect and other adverse childhood experiences threaten our universally held aspiration for children to thrive and become healthy, responsible adults. One lesson we have learned in Texas and across the country is that prevention and early intervention work must address a broad spectrum of unfortunate realities that includes devastating neglect, abuse and the too frequent tragedy of child fatalities, as well as more common adverse experiences, such as economic hardship, divorce, parental alcohol and drug abuse and mental illness.

As our collective understanding of these adverse childhood experiences

has grown, so too has our awareness of the downstream consequences to

individuals, families and communities. Adolescents and adults who expe-

rienced emotional trauma as young children are more likely to suffer from social, emotional and cognitive impairments, engage in risky and sometimes criminal behaviors, and have higher rates of addiction and disease.

I believe almost all parents want the best

Fortunately, we've also learned a great deal about how best to support

for their children, and

children and families. The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University found that negative childhood experiences have the power to overwhelm traditional child-development efforts focused exclusively on the child's experiences. For this reason, PEI's new five-year plan is an-

everyone wants to be part of a loving, healthy family.

chored by newer, evidence-based strategies that create enriching expe-

riences and positive environments for children, while also working with parents to protect children and

families against serious adversity.

I believe almost all parents want the best for their children, and everyone wants to be part of a loving, healthy family. This is why PEI's approach to preventing all forms of abuse and neglect by promoting child, family and community protective factors is an effective formula for building resilience among children and youth that allows them to withstand challenges and bounce back when knocked down.

To make certain PEI's work is rooted in and supported by communities, we will partner with cities and counties, nonprofit organizations, schools and universities, businesses, faith-based organizations and philanthropies. Together we can ensure Texas is a great place to be a kid.

Sincerely,

Sasha Rasco Associate Commissioner, Prevention and Early Intervention Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

Preventing child maltreatment and other negative outcomes includes addressing the underlying issues: poverty, family instability, poor health, substance abuse, mental illness and more.

Goals, Strategies and Measures

PEI Five-Year Strategic Plan 2016

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