gallary of characters

How we are transforming the system

Learn how TXPOP provides the support and tools for children, families and the professionals who work with them below.

Meet Everyone

let’s meet a family currently involved in the system. You’ll meet Adam and his siblings, his mom, Rose,  along with his extended family and the professionals and caregivers working with adam’s family. In this Genogram, you can see who everyone is and how they relate to each other. Continue to click and scroll through this page to learn more about these people and how TXPOP helps them support Adam as he and his siblings reach a positive permanency outcome.

 

 

*please note: this is not a real case- this case study is based on several cases.* 

Meet Adam

Child in the system
Adam's Story

Meet Adam, age 4. Adam and his three siblings, Alisha (7), Aaron (8), and Anthony (10), were placed in foster care following a report to the police late at night that Adam’s Mom, Rose,  left her children alone at night to use drugs.  The reporter stated that Adam was currently wandering in the parking lot and that she had previously seen Rose interacting with drug dealers.  CPS was called and learned that Adam was looking for his mother while the other children were asleep in the apartment.  Rose could not be located and so the CPS investigator removed the children and placed them with Marion and Jack, caregivers whose home was verified by a local child placing agency. The case was eventually transferred to Jennifer, the Department of Children and Families conservatorship worker and Leti the Child Placing Agency case manager.  Jennifer and Leti have been working together to support Rose and her children.  Their goal is to build enough safety for the children with Rose and her network of family and friends so the children can be returned home. 

 

In order to achieve this goal for the children, Jennifer and Leti understand that Rose needs to maintain a parental role with her children while they are in foster care.  Jennifer and Leti also know that Rose can’t be expected to go it alone; she needs a strong network of people who will support her, hold her accountable, and be willing to help her keep the children safe long term.  

 

Rose let them both know that her parents and twin sister have always been very supportive and close to the children. She was open to adding them to her support network. Adam and his siblings told Leti that in the past they spent a lot of time with their dad and paternal grandparents. Rose was resistant to involving them at first, but once she understood how important they were to her children, she agreed to let Jennifer and Leti reach out to them. 

Marion and Jack also believe that the children should have frequent contact with their mother and other members of their family while they are in foster care.  To that end, Marion and Jack have worked to build a good partnership with Rose and her support network. 

How TXPOP Supports Adam

Instead of excluding Adam from conversations and decision making, TXPOP provides a model in which Adam’s family, caregivers, case workers, case managers, and judges learn how to engage Adam. The TXPOP Practice model provides tools that create explanations for children including the Words and Pictures Explanation, which helped Adam understand it wasn’t his fault that he and his sister and brothers were placed in foster care. This process ensures children are informed about what happened and what we’re doing about it in an age appropriate way. This provides clarity for everyone and reduces self-blame for the child. Not only does TXPOP Provide guidance on how to communicate with Adam, it also has built in opportunities to further facilitate Adam’s voice is heard. Adam met with his case manager and was able to tell her his worries, talk about all of the good things about his family, and what he would like to happen with his mom and dad through the Three Houses tool. 

 

Adam’s Case worker at DFPS, Jennifer is eligible to sign up for the free Child Welfare Academy [link]. Which offers two certificate options for professionals working in child welfare. In these courses Jennifer can learn applicable skills on how to engage Adam and his family, while also placing Adam and his family history into context by learning more about multigenerational trauma, social justice and structural inequality and racism that play a part in the lives of Adam and his family. 

Adam’s case manager from the Child Placing Agency, Leti, is being trained in the TXPOP Practice model for Practitioners [this is a link], while her Supervisor and Director of the CPA, Mary, is also being trained in the Practice Model for Supervisors and Leaders. [This is a link]

 

Adam’s Judge, Sandra, also has the opportunity to learn how to engage Adam and his family by attending family engagement training and receiving guidance through various resources such as benchcards and guides which are provided on this website.

Adam’s caregivers, Marion and Jack, are learning how to keep in contact and engage Rose and her family so that Adam has a complete support network around him that includes his natural connections. [learn more here about the TXPOP Practice Model for Caregivers] When Adam started going to his mom’s house for the whole weekend, he used a Transition Object which helped him feel less worried and confused about all of the changes. 

Adam’s paternal grandparents, Margaret and Benjamin, were included in Network Meetings and safety planning as soon as they were identified as an important part of Adam and his sibling’s life as well as Rose’s support network.

Meet Rose

Parent with Children in the system
Rose & Family's Story

Rose, age 30, is a single mom of four children, Anthony age 10, Aaron age 8, Alisha age 7, and Adam age 4. Mark, who is in his late 20’s, is dad to the children and currently separated from Rose. He and Rose have had an “on again, off again” relationship for many years and currently they are “off again.” Because of this, he hasn’t  been involved in the children’s lives for a while. 

 

Rose has multiple family members that are close to the children including her twin sister Marie and her divorced parents Sarah and George. Mark’s parents, Margaret and Benjamin, have also been involved in the children’s lives as much as they can be. Mark has two younger siblings, James and Amy, who occasionally help with the children and try to keep in contact with Mark as much as they can. When Adam and his siblings were removed from Rose’s care, they were placed with caregivers Marion and Jack.  

 

The professionals currently involved in Rose’s life are: 

  • Jennifer, the Department of Children and Families conservatorship caseworker
  • Leti, the Child Placing Agency (CPA) case manager and her supervisor Mary
  • Sandra, the Child Protection Court judge
How TXPOP Supports Rose & her Family

When Rose was first told her children were being placed into foster care, she didn’t know how much she could know or ask about the caregivers. Her caseworker provided her with the caregiver’s Marion and Jack, Family Introduction where Rose learned about the people who would be caring for her children. She and the caregiver started using Family Notes to communicate about the children and this helped Rose feel like her thoughts, opinions, and expertise about the children mattered to them. The first meeting she had with her Conservatorship Worker, Jennifer, they created a Genogram of her family and friends and Jennifer emphasized the importance of building a support network. Jennifer also worked with her to arrange a Network Meeting and asked her who she thought would be important to be invited and where it should take place. At the network meeting it was explained to Rose there would be many more ways and opportunities for her voice and her family’s voice to be a part of the plans created for her and her children.

 

 

 

 

 

Resources available to Rose and her Family

Rose will be provided many supports and opportunities because she and her children are involved in TXPOP.  Rose will receive support from her DFPS caseworker as well as the CPA case manager to learn how to build a working relationship with her children’s caregivers, Marion and Jack. She will be encouraged to build and maintain a support network and helped to learn exactly how to do that.  She will be allowed and encouraged to continue to parent her children including attending all medical and school appointments, making decisions for her children, and spending as much time as possible with her children.  

Meet Jennifer

DFPS CaseWorker
Jennifer's Story

Meet Jennifer, the DFPS Conservatorship Caseworker. Jennifer has worked at DFPS for three years. It was her first job out of college. Jennifer likes feeling that she is making a difference in the lives of families and she thinks she is good at her job. She does have a large workload and is always extremely busy. Jennifer is unsure how to feel about TXPOP because she has seen previous new initiatives start out very popular, take a lot of time to learn, and then not last long-term. Jennifer is unsure how she will learn the new intervention or how much she will actually use it. She wonders how she will work with the CPA case manager to coordinate working with the family and case planning. Jennifer is unsure if judges and attorneys will be made aware of TXPOP or if parent attorneys will even allow their client parents to fully engage in TXPOP.

How TXPOP Supports Jennifer

 

CPA Case Manager Leti reached out to Jennifer to let her know she is at an agency using the TXPOP practice model, and they have a shared case, Rose and her family. Leti invited Jennifer to participate in TXPOP practice model training for practitioners. Jennifer learned about sharing power with families by including them in the day-to-day care of their children. Jennifer also learned many tools and interventions to engage caregivers and families to work together to keep children connected to their family and build a network to keep them safe. Jennifer then attended a Case Consultation that focused on Rose, her kids, and the caregivers. Jennifer was not used to collaborating so closely with the CPA Case Manager. Jennifer was encouraged but not compelled to try out one of the TXPOP tools. Jennifer decided to use the Chat Box during a meeting with Rose. She found it very helpful in drawing out strengths and worries. The next time Jennifer met with Rose she decided to create a Genogram. Rose told Jennifer about how involved the paternal grandparents, Margaret and Benjamin, were in the children’s lives, something Jennifer had never heard. Leti and Jennifer then planned a Network Meeting. At the meeting, Jennifer met Margaret and Benjamin and Rose’s parents and sister for the first time. Jennifer was surprised and excited to see how supportive they all were of Rose and the children. 

 

Jennifer will also have access to The Child Welfare Academy which will provide skill-based training that infuses social work principles into child welfare practice. All students will take Foundation Courses that will provide skill-based training and strategies to increase family engagement, assist families with multigenerational trauma, bring awareness to social justice issues in child welfare, increase knowledge on child development, and apply an anti-racist approach to their practice. Additionally, two certificate tracks will be provided to deepen their work with families.

 

For Jennifer, there is the Social Work Certificate in Child Protection Services. This certificate will provide DFPS workers with further knowledge and strategies to use when CPS workers are interviewing Rose’s family to ensure that they are partnering with families, rigorous and balanced information is gathered, to build supportive child and family networks, to co-create plans with families and to ensure that plans improve and are sustainable.

Resources available to Jennifer

As a DFPS Caseworker in a region that is implementing TXPOP, there are many supports available to Jennifer:  

  •   Training on the TXPOP Practice Model and approach from a TXPOP expert.
  • On-going support, case consultation, coaching, and frequent interaction from their CPA case manager counterpart. 
  • The TXPOP Practice Model Manual (coming soon!) outlines the TXPOP approach, explains the practice tools in depth including examples, practice guides, templates for tools, and training videos.
  • Private online learning community and knowledge bank.
  • Connections to other case workers practicing the TXPOP approach.
  • Access to the Child Welfare Academy certificate programs and courses.

Meet Marion & Jack

Foster Caregivers to the Children
Marion & Jack's Story

Meet the Caregivers, Marion and Jack. Marion and Jack were so excited to become caregivers. They enjoyed the training and meeting other caregivers. They felt they could love and care for children in need, but the day they got the call from their case manager Leti it had been such a crazy week. Marion’s mother hadn’t been feeling well so she was taking her to doctor’s appointments and checking in on her every day. Jack was putting in a lot of overtime. Their washing machine broke. Marion was watching her neighbor’s children when Leti called to ask if she and Jack were open to an emergency placement of four children. Marion wondered if their first-ever placement should be four children, but she didn’t want siblings to be separated. Marion and Jack knew there was no perfect time, so they said yes.

How TXPOP Supports Marion & Jack

During the licensing process, Marion and Jack worked with Leti to create a Family Introduction. It was shared with Rose and Anthony, Aaron, Alisha, and Adam before they came to stay with Marion and Jack, easing the difficult transition for everyone. Marion and Jack were apprehensive about engaging with the children’s family, so they started the communication through Family Notes, which felt safe and the right pace to begin. Marion and Jack were invited to attend Network Meetings. They liked going to the meetings because it helped them understand the perspectives of everyone involved, including Rose, her family and network, DFPS staff, and judges. It also kept them involved in the case planning and made them feel their thoughts and opinions mattered. When Adam and Alisha started asking them why they had to stop living with their mom, Jack and Marion didn’t know what to say. Leti helped them to use the Words & Pictures Explanation with the children to answer their questions. Marion and Jack liked all of the tools Leti used with the children like Three Houses, Transition Object, and Safety House to understand the children’s thoughts and feelings and address their worries and fears.  

Resources available to Marion & Jack

As caregivers in an agency that is implementing TXPOP, there are many supports available to Marion and Jack:

  • Training on the TXPOP Practice Model and approach from a TXPOP expert
  • On-going support and frequent interaction from their CPA Case manager helping them learn to build working relationships with Rose, her family, and everyone in the network. 
  • More involvement with the whole family, DFPS staff, judges, case planning, family meetings, and court hearings. 
  • The TXPOP Caregiver Practice Model Manual [link to this part of the website] outlines the TXPOP approach, explains the Caregiver specific tools in depth, including examples, and describes helpful techniques to build rapport and trust with families.
  • Tools designed specifically for caregivers including Family Introduction, Network Circles, Personal Support Plan, Caregiver Rigorous Plan, and Future House
  • Connection to other caregivers practicing the TXPOP approach.

Meet Judge Sandra

Child Protection Court Judge in Texas
Judge Sandra's Story

Meet the Child Protection Court Judge, Judge Sandra. Judge Sandra was elected two years ago after running a family law practice for over 20 years. She decided to run for office because of her passion and personal and professional commitment to help families. She first learned about TXPOP when she was asked to participate in the Local Advisory Group. During the Local Advisory Group meetings she learned that TXPOP is a new way of working with families that puts children’s input at the center of decision making, builds partnerships between families and caregivers, and creates a safety and support network around the children and their families. Last week she received a notice that her new family, Rose and her children, are involved in the project.

How TXPOP Supports Judge Sandra

The notice to the court she received explained that she can expect increased involvement of her families in the day to day lives of their children, which she also believes is vitally important. The notice also let her know the caregivers, family, extended family, friends, and other network members of the family may attend court hearings. Network Meetings were explained and a list of questions she could ask were provided. Judge Sandra also attends Quarterly TXPOP Judge’s Convenings and workshops to learn and network with other Judges around the state who are involved with TXPOP.  

Resources available to Judge Sandra

Judges in a child protection court that have a family involved in TXPOP will be supported in a variety of ways: 

  • Training and support at Quarterly TXPOP Judges Convenings that educate judges on the youth outcomes research, TXPOP processes, and provides peer models that illustrate judges who successfully implement the model. 
  • A Notice to the Court that demonstrates the TXPOP process and provide a decision tree on how their rulings affect the children.
  • TXPOP promotional materials that are specifically geared towards them and the legal community in general

Meet Leti

Case Manager at Child Placing Agency
leti's Story

Meet Leti, she is a case manager who works for a Child Placing Agency, Leti has been in her role as case manager for 4 years. Before being a case manager she worked in an afterschool program at a church school. Leti feels called to help children heal from trauma, abuse, and neglect which is why she enjoys her job as a case manager. Leti has noticed that many of the children she works with lack a connection to their extended family and that the caregivers she works with are often overwhelmed and don’t have the support they need to parent. Recently the agency that Leti works for has adopted a new practice model called TXPOP. Leti has been using the practices from this new approach with Marion and Jack, two foster parents on her caseload and with the children placed in their home one of them being Adam, who is four years old. While Leti is trying out the practice and eager to apply the new practice model with her other families she does have some concerns about working in this new way. Leti’s two main worries are that she lacks experience in working with the children’s family and she feels a little intimidated and unsure how to approach families. She is also worried that she won’t get the information she needs from the CPS caseworker, she knows they are busy and they can be hard to track down. 

How TXPOP Supports Leti

Leti is excited about working in a new way if it means that the children she works with will have more of a connection with their parents and extended family. Typically caregivers and child placing agency workers don’t have any contact with the birth family, however in this new approach everyone is working together to keep the child connected to their family and to build a network of people that will help keep the child safe. Leti had the opportunity to participate in the full TXPOP training for practitioners. Leti learned about how to share power with families by including them in decisions about the day to day care of their child. In addition, Leti received training on a variety of tools such as the Three Houses and the Future House that will help her elicit Adam’s perspective and share that with others so that he and his siblings are always included in the decision making process. Leti especially likes the tools that provide an explanation to the children about why they are in care and what is happening in their case, tools such as the Words and Pictures Explanation, Words and Pictures Plan

 

Many of the tools such as Network Circles, Network Finding Matrix, Network Meetings, and Family Safety Circles are focused on helping both Rose and Marion and Jack develop and build their support networks so that the children are cared for and kept safe both now and in the future. Leti has appreciated having concrete tools and practices that help her connect with the family. In addition to training, TXPOP will provide ongoing case consultation, coaching, and opportunities for practice reflection throughout the project. Leti has already had the opportunity to attend a case consultation that focused on Rose and her kids and she was able to connect with other practitioners using the practice model through the Online Learning Community. The TXPOP team will support Leti every step of the way, as Leti has questions about applying the approach there will always be someone that Leti can reach out to for support and guidance. 

 

Leti will also have access to The Child Welfare Academy which will provide skill-based training that infuses social work principles into child welfare practice. All students will take Foundation Courses that will provide skill-based training and strategies to increase family engagement, assist families with multigenerational trauma, bring awareness to social justice issues in child welfare, increase knowledge on child development, and apply an anti-racist approach to their practice. Additionally, two certificate tracks will be provided to deepen their work with families.

 

For Leti, there is the Social Work Certificate in Child Welfare Services, this certificate will provide CPA workers with further knowledge and critical thinking on trauma and its impact on developmental processes, attachment, and relationships. They will be able to take this knowledge and build trust, rapport and empathy with Rose and her family as they navigate the child welfare system 

Resources available to Leti

As a case manager in an agency that is implementing TXPOP, there are many supports available to Leti: 

  • The Practice Model which includes manuals, practice guides, case examples, templates for tools, and training videos.
  • Training and Support from a TXPOP Program Specialist
  • Private online learning community and knowledge bank.
  • Connections to other case managers doing this work. 
  • The child Welfare Academy Online Learning Community and knowledge bank

Meet Mary

Child Placing Agency Director
Mary's Story

Meet Mary, she is a Manager at a child-placing agency that is implementing TXPOP. Mary supervises a team of case managers that work directly with foster families, Leti is on Mary’s team. Mary has been a supervisor for several years now, before she was a supervisor she worked directly with caregivers. Mary enjoys being able to make decisions in her agency about how they will work with children and families. Mary is enthusiastic about supporting her team in learning TXPOP practices and providing them with support to feel confident in working with children, birth families, and foster families. One of her team members Leti has been consistently using the TXPOP approach with the families he works with and has seeked a lot of support from Mary in supervision. 

How TXPOP Supports Mary

The TXPOP practice model includes special training and support for leaders and supervisors. Mary and the other managers in her agency attended the supervisors and leaders training. Mary learned how to practice authentic leadership and became aware of ways she can adapt the practice model tools and practices in supervision with her staff. One of the tools Mary can use in supervision is the Chat Box. The Chat Box will help Mary have balanced conversations with her staff. Mary feels confident in providing support to Leti and enjoys hearing how she incorporates the practices with Marion and Jack, caregivers that Leti works with. One practice they discussed in supervision was the Three Houses, which helped Leti hear the children’s perspective on how they feel about their placement. One of Mary’s responsibilities as a leader is meeting with her team and explaining what TXPOP is and how the agency will be involved on an ongoing basis. Mary has talked with her team about their role in engaging birth families and DFPS. The extra training and preparation has provided Mary with the information she needs to talk with her staff and gain skills in building and supporting a learning environment in her agency.

Resources available to Mary
  •  

As a leader in an agency that is implementing TXPOP, there are many supports available to Mary: 

    • The Practice Model
    • Specific training and materials for supervisors and leaders
    • A Supervisors and Leaders manual 
    • Training and Support from a TXPOP Program Specialist
    • Private online learning community and knowledge bank. 
    • Connections to other supervisors and leaders doing this work. 

Meet Margaret & Benjamin

KInship Caregivers
Margaret & Benjamin's Story

Meet Kinship Caregivers Margaret and Benjamin, Mark’s (dad’s) parents. Margaret and Benjamin have three children, Mark, 29, James, 28, and Amy, 26. They love their children and try to support them in any way they can. 

 

They know their son Mark was young when he met Rose and they had Anthony. Mark and Rose tried hard to make it work, separating, but then always getting back together. Margaret and Benjamin have always loved Rose and Mark’s kids, Anthony, Aaron, Alisha, and Adam. They have tried to stay in the children’s lives, no matter what was going on between Rose and Mark, but this hasn’t always been easy. The last few times they saw Rose and the kids, they were worried if the kids were being taken care of because Rose seemed to be struggling but they didn’t know what to do. They always wanted to keep things good between them and Rose so they could stay in the children’s lives. They were so sad for Rose when they heard the children were removed. They were also angry at Mark for not being there when the kids needed him.

How TXPOP Supports Margaret & Benjamin

Margaret and Benjamin highly value family and always supporting your family no matter what, so they were happy to attend Network Meetings when asked to by Leti and Jennifer. The Network Meetings helped them stay connected to and support Rose and the children. Margaret and Benjamin requested to be written into the Rigorous Plan to show Rose their commitment to her and the children’s safety. They believe children should stay with family, so they decided to become Kinship Caregivers. Once the children came to live with them, Rose didn’t seem to manage the change in the family dynamic very well. Leti met with them and Rose and Mark, and together they created a Future House that helped them all develop a shared vision for their families. They also started using Family Notes to communicate with Rose about the children, which helped minimize misunderstandings and ensure they were all on the same page with caring for the children. Margaret and Benjamin were also worried about all the transitions and changes the children were dealing with, so Leti explained the Transition Object, which they found helpful for the youngest two children when transitioning between their house and Rose’s house for visits.

Resources available to Margaret & Benjamin

As caregivers in an agency that is implementing TXPOP, there are many supports available to Margaret and Benjamin:

  • Training on the TXPOP Practice Model and approach from a TXPOP expert
  • On-going support and frequent interaction from their CPA Case manager helping them learn to build working relationships with Rose, her family, Mark, and everyone in the network. 
  • More involvement with the whole family, DFPS staff, judges, case planning, family meetings, and court hearings. 
  • The TXPOP Caregiver Practice Model Manual outlines the TXPOP approach, explains the Caregiver specific tools in depth, including examples, and describes helpful techniques to build rapport and trust with families.
  • Tools designed specifically for caregivers including Family Introduction, Network Circles, Personal Support Plan, Caregiver Rigorous Plan, and Future House
  • Connection to other caregivers practicing the TXPOP approach.
Meet Everyone

let’s meet a family currently involved in the system. You’ll meet Adam and his siblings, his mom, Rose,  along with his extended family and the professionals and caregivers working with adam’s family. In this Genogram, you can see who everyone is and how they relate to each other. Continue to click and scroll through this page to learn more about these people and how TXPOP helps them support Adam as he and his siblings reach a positive permanency outcome.

 

 

*please note: this is not a real case- this case study is based on several cases.* 

Meet Adam

Child in the system
Adam's Story

Meet Adam, age 4. Adam and his three siblings, Alisha (7), Aaron (8), and Anthony (10), were placed in foster care following a report to the police late at night that Adam’s Mom, Rose,  left her children alone at night to use drugs.  The reporter stated that Adam was currently wandering in the parking lot and that she had previously seen Rose interacting with drug dealers.  CPS was called and learned that Adam was looking for his mother while the other children were asleep in the apartment.  Rose could not be located and so the CPS investigator removed the children and placed them with Marion and Jack, caregivers whose home was verified by a local child placing agency. The case was eventually transferred to Jennifer, the Department of Children and Families conservatorship worker and Leti the Child Placing Agency case manager.  Jennifer and Leti have been working together to support Rose and her children.  Their goal is to build enough safety for the children with Rose and her network of family and friends so the children can be returned home. 

 

In order to achieve this goal for the children, Jennifer and Leti understand that Rose needs to maintain a parental role with her children while they are in foster care.  Jennifer and Leti also know that Rose can’t be expected to go it alone; she needs a strong network of people who will support her, hold her accountable, and be willing to help her keep the children safe long term.  

 

Rose let them both know that her parents and twin sister have always been very supportive and close to the children. She was open to adding them to her support network. Adam and his siblings told Leti that in the past they spent a lot of time with their dad and paternal grandparents. Rose was resistant to involving them at first, but once she understood how important they were to her children, she agreed to let Jennifer and Leti reach out to them. 

Marion and Jack also believe that the children should have frequent contact with their mother and other members of their family while they are in foster care.  To that end, Marion and Jack have worked to build a good partnership with Rose and her support network. 

How TXPOP Supports Adam

Instead of excluding Adam from conversations and decision making, TXPOP provides a model in which Adam’s family, caregivers, case workers, case managers, and judges learn how to engage Adam. The TXPOP Practice model provides tools that create explanations for children including the Words and Pictures Explanation, which helped Adam understand it wasn’t his fault that he and his sister and brothers were placed in foster care. This process ensures children are informed about what happened and what we’re doing about it in an age appropriate way. This provides clarity for everyone and reduces self-blame for the child. Not only does TXPOP Provide guidance on how to communicate with Adam, it also has built in opportunities to further facilitate Adam’s voice is heard. Adam met with his case manager and was able to tell her his worries, talk about all of the good things about his family, and what he would like to happen with his mom and dad through the Three Houses tool. 

 

Adam’s Case worker at DFPS, Jennifer is eligible to sign up for the free Child Welfare Academy [link]. Which offers two certificate options for professionals working in child welfare. In these courses Jennifer can learn applicable skills on how to engage Adam and his family, while also placing Adam and his family history into context by learning more about multigenerational trauma, social justice and structural inequality and racism that play a part in the lives of Adam and his family. 

Adam’s case manager from the Child Placing Agency, Leti, is being trained in the TXPOP Practice model for Practitioners [this is a link], while her Supervisor and Director of the CPA, Mary, is also being trained in the Practice Model for Supervisors and Leaders. [This is a link]

 

Adam’s Judge, Sandra, also has the opportunity to learn how to engage Adam and his family by attending family engagement training and receiving guidance through various resources such as benchcards and guides which are provided on this website.

Adam’s caregivers, Marion and Jack, are learning how to keep in contact and engage Rose and her family so that Adam has a complete support network around him that includes his natural connections. [learn more here about the TXPOP Practice Model for Caregivers] When Adam started going to his mom’s house for the whole weekend, he used a Transition Object which helped him feel less worried and confused about all of the changes. 

Adam’s paternal grandparents, Margaret and Benjamin, were included in Network Meetings and safety planning as soon as they were identified as an important part of Adam and his sibling’s life as well as Rose’s support network.

Meet Rose

Parent with Children in the system
Rose & Family's Story

Rose, age 30, is a single mom of four children, Anthony age 10, Aaron age 8, Alisha age 7, and Adam age 4. Mark, who is in his late 20’s, is dad to the children and currently separated from Rose. He and Rose have had an “on again, off again” relationship for many years and currently they are “off again.” Because of this, he hasn’t  been involved in the children’s lives for a while. 

 

Rose has multiple family members that are close to the children including her twin sister Marie and her divorced parents Sarah and George. Mark’s parents, Margaret and Benjamin, have also been involved in the children’s lives as much as they can be. Mark has two younger siblings, James and Amy, who occasionally help with the children and try to keep in contact with Mark as much as they can. When Adam and his siblings were removed from Rose’s care, they were placed with caregivers Marion and Jack.  

 

The professionals currently involved in Rose’s life are: 

  • Jennifer, the Department of Children and Families conservatorship caseworker
  • Leti, the Child Placing Agency (CPA) case manager and her supervisor Mary
  • Sandra, the Child Protection Court judge
How TXPOP Supports Rose & her Family

When Rose was first told her children were being placed into foster care, she didn’t know how much she could know or ask about the caregivers. Her caseworker provided her with the caregiver’s Marion and Jack, Family Introduction where Rose learned about the people who would be caring for her children. She and the caregiver started using Family Notes to communicate about the children and this helped Rose feel like her thoughts, opinions, and expertise about the children mattered to them. The first meeting she had with her Conservatorship Worker, Jennifer, they created a Genogram of her family and friends and Jennifer emphasized the importance of building a support network. Jennifer also worked with her to arrange a Network Meeting and asked her who she thought would be important to be invited and where it should take place. At the network meeting it was explained to Rose there would be many more ways and opportunities for her voice and her family’s voice to be a part of the plans created for her and her children.

 

 

 

 

 

Resources available to Rose and her Family

Rose will be provided many supports and opportunities because she and her children are involved in TXPOP.  Rose will receive support from her DFPS caseworker as well as the CPA case manager to learn how to build a working relationship with her children’s caregivers, Marion and Jack. She will be encouraged to build and maintain a support network and helped to learn exactly how to do that.  She will be allowed and encouraged to continue to parent her children including attending all medical and school appointments, making decisions for her children, and spending as much time as possible with her children.  

Meet Jennifer

DFPS CaseWorker
Jennifer's Story

Meet Jennifer, the DFPS Conservatorship Caseworker. Jennifer has worked at DFPS for three years. It was her first job out of college. Jennifer likes feeling that she is making a difference in the lives of families and she thinks she is good at her job. She does have a large workload and is always extremely busy. Jennifer is unsure how to feel about TXPOP because she has seen previous new initiatives start out very popular, take a lot of time to learn, and then not last long-term. Jennifer is unsure how she will learn the new intervention or how much she will actually use it. She wonders how she will work with the CPA case manager to coordinate working with the family and case planning. Jennifer is unsure if judges and attorneys will be made aware of TXPOP or if parent attorneys will even allow their client parents to fully engage in TXPOP.

How TXPOP Supports Jennifer

 

CPA Case Manager Leti reached out to Jennifer to let her know she is at an agency using the TXPOP practice model, and they have a shared case, Rose and her family. Leti invited Jennifer to participate in TXPOP practice model training for practitioners. Jennifer learned about sharing power with families by including them in the day-to-day care of their children. Jennifer also learned many tools and interventions to engage caregivers and families to work together to keep children connected to their family and build a network to keep them safe. Jennifer then attended a Case Consultation that focused on Rose, her kids, and the caregivers. Jennifer was not used to collaborating so closely with the CPA Case Manager. Jennifer was encouraged but not compelled to try out one of the TXPOP tools. Jennifer decided to use the Chat Box during a meeting with Rose. She found it very helpful in drawing out strengths and worries. The next time Jennifer met with Rose she decided to create a Genogram. Rose told Jennifer about how involved the paternal grandparents, Margaret and Benjamin, were in the children’s lives, something Jennifer had never heard. Leti and Jennifer then planned a Network Meeting. At the meeting, Jennifer met Margaret and Benjamin and Rose’s parents and sister for the first time. Jennifer was surprised and excited to see how supportive they all were of Rose and the children. 

 

Jennifer will also have access to The Child Welfare Academy which will provide skill-based training that infuses social work principles into child welfare practice. All students will take Foundation Courses that will provide skill-based training and strategies to increase family engagement, assist families with multigenerational trauma, bring awareness to social justice issues in child welfare, increase knowledge on child development, and apply an anti-racist approach to their practice. Additionally, two certificate tracks will be provided to deepen their work with families.

 

For Jennifer, there is the Social Work Certificate in Child Protection Services. This certificate will provide DFPS workers with further knowledge and strategies to use when CPS workers are interviewing Rose’s family to ensure that they are partnering with families, rigorous and balanced information is gathered, to build supportive child and family networks, to co-create plans with families and to ensure that plans improve and are sustainable.

Resources available to Jennifer

As a DFPS Caseworker in a region that is implementing TXPOP, there are many supports available to Jennifer:  

  •   Training on the TXPOP Practice Model and approach from a TXPOP expert.
  • On-going support, case consultation, coaching, and frequent interaction from their CPA case manager counterpart. 
  • The TXPOP Practice Model Manual (coming soon!) outlines the TXPOP approach, explains the practice tools in depth including examples, practice guides, templates for tools, and training videos.
  • Private online learning community and knowledge bank.
  • Connections to other case workers practicing the TXPOP approach.
  • Access to the Child Welfare Academy certificate programs and courses.

Meet Marion & Jack

Foster Caregivers to the Children
Marion & Jack's Story

Meet the Caregivers, Marion and Jack. Marion and Jack were so excited to become caregivers. They enjoyed the training and meeting other caregivers. They felt they could love and care for children in need, but the day they got the call from their case manager Leti it had been such a crazy week. Marion’s mother hadn’t been feeling well so she was taking her to doctor’s appointments and checking in on her every day. Jack was putting in a lot of overtime. Their washing machine broke. Marion was watching her neighbor’s children when Leti called to ask if she and Jack were open to an emergency placement of four children. Marion wondered if their first-ever placement should be four children, but she didn’t want siblings to be separated. Marion and Jack knew there was no perfect time, so they said yes.

How TXPOP Supports Marion & Jack

During the licensing process, Marion and Jack worked with Leti to create a Family Introduction. It was shared with Rose and Anthony, Aaron, Alisha, and Adam before they came to stay with Marion and Jack, easing the difficult transition for everyone. Marion and Jack were apprehensive about engaging with the children’s family, so they started the communication through Family Notes, which felt safe and the right pace to begin. Marion and Jack were invited to attend Network Meetings. They liked going to the meetings because it helped them understand the perspectives of everyone involved, including Rose, her family and network, DFPS staff, and judges. It also kept them involved in the case planning and made them feel their thoughts and opinions mattered. When Adam and Alisha started asking them why they had to stop living with their mom, Jack and Marion didn’t know what to say. Leti helped them to use the Words & Pictures Explanation with the children to answer their questions. Marion and Jack liked all of the tools Leti used with the children like Three Houses, Transition Object, and Safety House to understand the children’s thoughts and feelings and address their worries and fears.  

Resources available to Marion & Jack

As caregivers in an agency that is implementing TXPOP, there are many supports available to Marion and Jack:

  • Training on the TXPOP Practice Model and approach from a TXPOP expert
  • On-going support and frequent interaction from their CPA Case manager helping them learn to build working relationships with Rose, her family, and everyone in the network. 
  • More involvement with the whole family, DFPS staff, judges, case planning, family meetings, and court hearings. 
  • The TXPOP Caregiver Practice Model Manual [link to this part of the website] outlines the TXPOP approach, explains the Caregiver specific tools in depth, including examples, and describes helpful techniques to build rapport and trust with families.
  • Tools designed specifically for caregivers including Family Introduction, Network Circles, Personal Support Plan, Caregiver Rigorous Plan, and Future House
  • Connection to other caregivers practicing the TXPOP approach.

Meet Judge Sandra

Child Protection Court Judge in Texas
Judge Sandra's Story

Meet the Child Protection Court Judge, Judge Sandra. Judge Sandra was elected two years ago after running a family law practice for over 20 years. She decided to run for office because of her passion and personal and professional commitment to help families. She first learned about TXPOP when she was asked to participate in the Local Advisory Group. During the Local Advisory Group meetings she learned that TXPOP is a new way of working with families that puts children’s input at the center of decision making, builds partnerships between families and caregivers, and creates a safety and support network around the children and their families. Last week she received a notice that her new family, Rose and her children, are involved in the project.

How TXPOP Supports Judge Sandra

The notice to the court she received explained that she can expect increased involvement of her families in the day to day lives of their children, which she also believes is vitally important. The notice also let her know the caregivers, family, extended family, friends, and other network members of the family may attend court hearings. Network Meetings were explained and a list of questions she could ask were provided. Judge Sandra also attends Quarterly TXPOP Judge’s Convenings and workshops to learn and network with other Judges around the state who are involved with TXPOP.  

Resources available to Judge Sandra

Judges in a child protection court that have a family involved in TXPOP will be supported in a variety of ways: 

  • Training and support at Quarterly TXPOP Judges Convenings that educate judges on the youth outcomes research, TXPOP processes, and provides peer models that illustrate judges who successfully implement the model. 
  • A Notice to the Court that demonstrates the TXPOP process and provide a decision tree on how their rulings affect the children.
  • TXPOP promotional materials that are specifically geared towards them and the legal community in general

Meet Leti

Case Manager at Child Placing Agency
leti's Story

Meet Leti, she is a case manager who works for a Child Placing Agency, Leti has been in her role as case manager for 4 years. Before being a case manager she worked in an afterschool program at a church school. Leti feels called to help children heal from trauma, abuse, and neglect which is why she enjoys her job as a case manager. Leti has noticed that many of the children she works with lack a connection to their extended family and that the caregivers she works with are often overwhelmed and don’t have the support they need to parent. Recently the agency that Leti works for has adopted a new practice model called TXPOP. Leti has been using the practices from this new approach with Marion and Jack, two foster parents on her caseload and with the children placed in their home one of them being Adam, who is four years old. While Leti is trying out the practice and eager to apply the new practice model with her other families she does have some concerns about working in this new way. Leti’s two main worries are that she lacks experience in working with the children’s family and she feels a little intimidated and unsure how to approach families. She is also worried that she won’t get the information she needs from the CPS caseworker, she knows they are busy and they can be hard to track down. 

How TXPOP Supports Leti

Leti is excited about working in a new way if it means that the children she works with will have more of a connection with their parents and extended family. Typically caregivers and child placing agency workers don’t have any contact with the birth family, however in this new approach everyone is working together to keep the child connected to their family and to build a network of people that will help keep the child safe. Leti had the opportunity to participate in the full TXPOP training for practitioners. Leti learned about how to share power with families by including them in decisions about the day to day care of their child. In addition, Leti received training on a variety of tools such as the Three Houses and the Future House that will help her elicit Adam’s perspective and share that with others so that he and his siblings are always included in the decision making process. Leti especially likes the tools that provide an explanation to the children about why they are in care and what is happening in their case, tools such as the Words and Pictures Explanation, Words and Pictures Plan

 

Many of the tools such as Network Circles, Network Finding Matrix, Network Meetings, and Family Safety Circles are focused on helping both Rose and Marion and Jack develop and build their support networks so that the children are cared for and kept safe both now and in the future. Leti has appreciated having concrete tools and practices that help her connect with the family. In addition to training, TXPOP will provide ongoing case consultation, coaching, and opportunities for practice reflection throughout the project. Leti has already had the opportunity to attend a case consultation that focused on Rose and her kids and she was able to connect with other practitioners using the practice model through the Online Learning Community. The TXPOP team will support Leti every step of the way, as Leti has questions about applying the approach there will always be someone that Leti can reach out to for support and guidance. 

 

Leti will also have access to The Child Welfare Academy which will provide skill-based training that infuses social work principles into child welfare practice. All students will take Foundation Courses that will provide skill-based training and strategies to increase family engagement, assist families with multigenerational trauma, bring awareness to social justice issues in child welfare, increase knowledge on child development, and apply an anti-racist approach to their practice. Additionally, two certificate tracks will be provided to deepen their work with families.

 

For Leti, there is the Social Work Certificate in Child Welfare Services, this certificate will provide CPA workers with further knowledge and critical thinking on trauma and its impact on developmental processes, attachment, and relationships. They will be able to take this knowledge and build trust, rapport and empathy with Rose and her family as they navigate the child welfare system 

Resources available to Leti

As a case manager in an agency that is implementing TXPOP, there are many supports available to Leti: 

  • The Practice Model which includes manuals, practice guides, case examples, templates for tools, and training videos.
  • Training and Support from a TXPOP Program Specialist
  • Private online learning community and knowledge bank.
  • Connections to other case managers doing this work. 
  • The child Welfare Academy Online Learning Community and knowledge bank

Meet Mary

Child Placing Agency Director
Mary's Story

Meet Mary, she is a Manager at a child-placing agency that is implementing TXPOP. Mary supervises a team of case managers that work directly with foster families, Leti is on Mary’s team. Mary has been a supervisor for several years now, before she was a supervisor she worked directly with caregivers. Mary enjoys being able to make decisions in her agency about how they will work with children and families. Mary is enthusiastic about supporting her team in learning TXPOP practices and providing them with support to feel confident in working with children, birth families, and foster families. One of her team members Leti has been consistently using the TXPOP approach with the families he works with and has seeked a lot of support from Mary in supervision. 

How TXPOP Supports Mary

The TXPOP practice model includes special training and support for leaders and supervisors. Mary and the other managers in her agency attended the supervisors and leaders training. Mary learned how to practice authentic leadership and became aware of ways she can adapt the practice model tools and practices in supervision with her staff. One of the tools Mary can use in supervision is the Chat Box. The Chat Box will help Mary have balanced conversations with her staff. Mary feels confident in providing support to Leti and enjoys hearing how she incorporates the practices with Marion and Jack, caregivers that Leti works with. One practice they discussed in supervision was the Three Houses, which helped Leti hear the children’s perspective on how they feel about their placement. One of Mary’s responsibilities as a leader is meeting with her team and explaining what TXPOP is and how the agency will be involved on an ongoing basis. Mary has talked with her team about their role in engaging birth families and DFPS. The extra training and preparation has provided Mary with the information she needs to talk with her staff and gain skills in building and supporting a learning environment in her agency.

Resources available to Mary
  •  

As a leader in an agency that is implementing TXPOP, there are many supports available to Mary: 

    • The Practice Model
    • Specific training and materials for supervisors and leaders
    • A Supervisors and Leaders manual 
    • Training and Support from a TXPOP Program Specialist
    • Private online learning community and knowledge bank. 
    • Connections to other supervisors and leaders doing this work. 

Meet Margaret & Benjamin

KInship Caregivers
Margaret & Benjamin's Story

Meet Kinship Caregivers Margaret and Benjamin, Mark’s (dad’s) parents. Margaret and Benjamin have three children, Mark, 29, James, 28, and Amy, 26. They love their children and try to support them in any way they can. 

 

They know their son Mark was young when he met Rose and they had Anthony. Mark and Rose tried hard to make it work, separating, but then always getting back together. Margaret and Benjamin have always loved Rose and Mark’s kids, Anthony, Aaron, Alisha, and Adam. They have tried to stay in the children’s lives, no matter what was going on between Rose and Mark, but this hasn’t always been easy. The last few times they saw Rose and the kids, they were worried if the kids were being taken care of because Rose seemed to be struggling but they didn’t know what to do. They always wanted to keep things good between them and Rose so they could stay in the children’s lives. They were so sad for Rose when they heard the children were removed. They were also angry at Mark for not being there when the kids needed him.

How TXPOP Supports Margaret & Benjamin

Margaret and Benjamin highly value family and always supporting your family no matter what, so they were happy to attend Network Meetings when asked to by Leti and Jennifer. The Network Meetings helped them stay connected to and support Rose and the children. Margaret and Benjamin requested to be written into the Rigorous Plan to show Rose their commitment to her and the children’s safety. They believe children should stay with family, so they decided to become Kinship Caregivers. Once the children came to live with them, Rose didn’t seem to manage the change in the family dynamic very well. Leti met with them and Rose and Mark, and together they created a Future House that helped them all develop a shared vision for their families. They also started using Family Notes to communicate with Rose about the children, which helped minimize misunderstandings and ensure they were all on the same page with caring for the children. Margaret and Benjamin were also worried about all the transitions and changes the children were dealing with, so Leti explained the Transition Object, which they found helpful for the youngest two children when transitioning between their house and Rose’s house for visits.

Resources available to Margaret & Benjamin

As caregivers in an agency that is implementing TXPOP, there are many supports available to Margaret and Benjamin:

  • Training on the TXPOP Practice Model and approach from a TXPOP expert
  • On-going support and frequent interaction from their CPA Case manager helping them learn to build working relationships with Rose, her family, Mark, and everyone in the network. 
  • More involvement with the whole family, DFPS staff, judges, case planning, family meetings, and court hearings. 
  • The TXPOP Caregiver Practice Model Manual outlines the TXPOP approach, explains the Caregiver specific tools in depth, including examples, and describes helpful techniques to build rapport and trust with families.
  • Tools designed specifically for caregivers including Family Introduction, Network Circles, Personal Support Plan, Caregiver Rigorous Plan, and Future House
  • Connection to other caregivers practicing the TXPOP approach.
Scroll to Top