At TXPOP, we’re working to make sure our mission meets the needs of communities across Texas. That’s why we partner with local organizations in each of our site locations throughout the state. These local advisory groups—ranging from child care licensing agencies to courts and CASAs—meet regularly to provide feedback on our work and promote our projects.
We sat down with Nelkasia Graves to learn more about how these groups collaborate with TXPOP. Ms. Graves serves as both a TXPOP site coordinator at Monarch Family Services, a child-placing agency in Region 6, and a board member at the Houston-based advisory group Relatives as Parents. The interview below has been edited and condensed for clarity.
How are you involved in RAP?
I’ve been a member of the RAP coalition since 2018. Last year and at the beginning of this year my active role was as one of the interim co-chairs of the coalition, due to transition with the coalition members. Once the new chair of the coalition has fully transitioned into their role, I will transition back to serving as one of the committee members.
What is Relatives as Parents (RAP) and what has the Houston group been up to lately?
The RAP coalition members are now meeting on a bi-monthly basis to continue to discuss our agenda topics, which consist of guest speakers, sharing new resources, any state updates that directly impact the services that we provide to
families, and preparing for the 2023 annual RAP Conference.
How has RAP been involved with TXPOP?
RAP has been involved with TXPOP by adding Monarch Family Services to their referral resources for
families that have Child Protective Services involvement that directly impact the relationships between birth parents and their children that are placed in foster care or kinship/fictive kin care. These families need support in bridging the gap to have all parties come together so that everyone can actively be involved in the children’s lives regardless of the permanency outcome.
How can RAP and TXPOP continue to work together to help support kinship families?
Both RAP and TXPOP will continue to work together to provide kinship
families with all support and resources they need in order to help birth parents and kinship caregivers be open to co-parenting children. This connects children with all the adults that love and care for them and ensures the family has a support to be successful after their Child Protective Services’s case is closed. The family can be confident they have all the support they need to continue to all work together in the best interest of the children.
Anything else we should know about RAP?
The RAP coalition is always actively seeking new committee members who work with children and
families in any capacity. The coalition is also open to caregivers and birth parents who would like to join the coalition to advocate and provide resources from their perspectives, as their input is just as valuable as professionals.
Learn more about getting involved with RAP by contacting