Meet the TXPOP Region 6 Site Coordinator!

Nelkasia Graves – Region 6 Site Coordinator
Monarch Family Services TXPOP site coordinator Nelkasia Graves. (Photo by Montinique Monroe)

Hello! My Name is Nelkasia Graves and I’m the TXPOP Site Coordinator at Monarch Family Services in Region 6. I’ve worked in the private sector of child placing agencies since 2009 and became a Licensed Child Placing Agency Administrator (LCPAA) in 2014.

Currently in my role as TXPOP Site Coordinator, I’m responsible for the following:

Ensure the staff, caregivers, and stakeholders receive training on the TXPOP practice model and tools, as well as ongoing individual and group coaching sessions specifically related to the practice model and tools. Collaborate with the Monarch Family Services leadership team that provides services for children and families to implement modifications made to the TXPOP Practice Model and implementation strategies during all phases of the project. Participate in weekly case consultations and implementation debriefing meetings with Monarch staff, the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), stakeholders, and the external TXPOP team (TACFS and UT Austin Steve Hicks School of Social Work). Work in partnership with the Evaluation Team to monitor onsite data collection and facilitate evaluation and continuous quality improvement activities. Actively participate as the lead for the TXPOP Local Implementation Group, which is responsible for implementing the TXPOP practice approach, troubleshooting implementation challenges at the local level, and providing updates on the challenges and progress of the project. Establish relationships with local stakeholders in Region 6 and DFPS to develop a strong partnership to support the TXPOP Practice Model, while including active participation on the Local Advisory Group. Support the development of sustainable practices that can expand to the larger child welfare community.

Why am I excited to implement TXPOP at my agency?

I’m super excited that Monarch Family Services is now in full implementation of TXPOP, due to the successes we’ve experienced with our families during the usability phase of the project. Of course, we’ve encountered several challenges and we know there were be many more to come since the practice model is not the traditional systematic way that all child welfare professionals have been taught to work with children and families over many years. However, during the usability phase of the project we’ve learned two valuable lessons that I’m confident that will show the outcome of TXPOP to be successful if we keep them in mind. First, in order for agencies and organizations to effectively work the practice model must be practiced by leadership, and it will naturally be a trickle-down effect that flourishes throughout the entire agency/organization. Secondly, TXPOP is not a cookie-cutter approach where the work is done the same with every family—this means that each family will truly receive individualized support that will provide them the tools and empowerment to not only be successful while working with the organizations/agencies but mostly importantly after permanency is reached. In reality, that’s what really matters the most.

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