Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The TXPOP team is currently piloting the TXPOP Practice Model in Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Regions 2, 6, and 11. After we pilot the model, we hope to expand to other regions in Texas.
If you or your organization are not involved with TXPOP currently but are wondering if it’s a good fit, please check out our Frequently Asked Questions below. If you still have questions, reach out to TXPOP Project Director Samantha Thompson at email@example.com.
You’ll be working with families and children in addition to foster caregivers and coordinating planning and decision making with DFPS or the local child placing agency that is implementing the TXPOP Practice Model. Your work will focus on creating partnerships between families, extended family members, and foster caregivers to build a sustainable network of safety and support for children.
Training is a small piece of changing practice. TXPOP will provide case consultation, coaching, and opportunities for practice reflection throughout the project.
The goal is to work in sync with DFPS—that’s why we’ve added DFPS to our implementation teams in selected sites, Local Advisory Groups, and the statewide Executive Advisory Group. Our implementation teams will be working through a process where we identify opportunities to collaborate and coordinate with DFPS. For example, we will provide you with some new strategies and tools to help facilitate effective family meetings. One idea is that you co-facilitate meetings with DFPS.
You may not interact directly with the judges, but you will provide information to DFPS that will be important for them to present in court. There may be occasional instances where you would directly present information in a hearing to a judge.
You will have new responsibilities. This is an investment in working the right way up front so that we save time throughout the life of the case by avoiding common pitfalls to achieving permanency and wellbeing. For example, by anticipating placement disruptions and organizing a plan with a support network before problems occur, we can avoid having to deal with crisis and placement changes down the road. Much of the work that you’re already doing will be enhanced or replaced with the new practices. We will make every effort to avoid duplicating work based on your feedback.
Each of the selected regions have Local Advisory Groups made up of local child welfare stakeholders. These stakeholders include DFPS leadership, judicial staff, child care licensing staff, CASA staff, parents, foster caregivers, and youth formerly involved in care, among others. The Local Advisory Groups meet quarterly and are designed to help address local barriers to successful implementation.
Involving children in planning and decision making is one of the core components of the TXPOP model. There are specific tools and strategies built into the model to accomplish this goal. The model supports work to ensure that the child’s perspective is captured, the child has supports in place based on their needs, and a concrete explanation is provided to the child about what has happened and what will happen.
The practice model is evidenced-informed and takes components and practices from approaches and interventions that have been found effective for children and families. UT Austin will conduct an evaluation and make adjustments to the intervention as the data is reviewed. The evaluation will build evidence as the project progresses.
DFPS has been a primary partner in the development and implementation of the project. DFPS staff are included in our Executive Advisory Group and Local Advisory Groups. In each of our selected sites, a DFPS representative is involved in our implementation teams, which means they meet with us on a regular basis to stay informed about the project and provide feedback when needed. DFPS caseworkers are being oriented and trained in the model.
The model is built into current practices and adapted to fit the needs of the agency. It doesn’t take more time—it’s a shift in perspective, helping agencies take an approach that understands the importance of a child’s family rather than a savior mentality promoting the idea that the child needs to be saved from their family.
The use of the TXPOP Practice Model should not negatively impact recruitment. This is an opportunity for foster caregivers to have a more rewarding experience by being a meaningful support to children and families. In fact, it might actually improve recruitment of families who are not focused on adoption.
For foster caregivers, involving parents allows them to partner in the care of the child. This can relieve them of stress and provide an added support for day-to-day needs. For parents, it provides them the opportunity to stay involved in the care of their child. Both parents and foster caregivers will benefit from having amicable resolutions for cases that work towards improving permanency outcomes for children. Children will also benefit from seeing all of the people that care about them working together.
This is not about additional costs or time. This is about embracing a different approach to improve outcomes. The hope is that when practice shifts to this model, agencies will find they are doing less work because this is a more effective and meaningful way to work with children and families. Our goal is to build on the good work that you’re already doing. We will take you through a guided process where we integrate your existing work with the practice model so that it feels seamless.
There are a couple of ways to go about this, depending on how your organization would like to implement the model. There is an opportunity for free training during the pilot period and the Texas Alliance of Child and Family Services will provide some support after the pilot period. If an agency would like to fully adopt the model, UT Austin will have a package of training and consultation available by the time the original grant ends.
Our team of experts will support you and your team every step of the way as you implement TXPOP. We’ve developed a wide range of trainings, manuals, and tools specific to both practitioners and supervisors as they put the TXPOP model into practice. When you and your agency become involved in TXPOP, you also receive support from a TXPOP expert who will join you for a TXPOP Case Consultation with your staff. Learn more about the TXPOP core components and tools in our overview course.
The TXPOP team is developing communication strategies as new agencies take on the practice model. We will share these tools with you for use with your local community.
THE TXPOP PRACTICE MODEL
TXPOP developed and is currently testing a practice model for public and private child welfare agencies in Texas to use to engage children and their families in achieving positive permanency outcomes. This model encourages professionals to approach their work and interactions with others from a nonjudgemental stance with a goal of sharing power with families.