Austin – Foster Care Reform efforts continue in Texas, as the Texas legislature is currently considering Senate Bill 11, a legislative package outlining substantial changes to the way the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) cares for the state’s foster children. In keeping with their mission to protect children, the Bair Foundation is advocating for its passage. Bair Foundation representatives attended the February 1 advocacy day organized by the Texas Alliance of Child and Family Services and a hearing held by the Health and Human Services Committee on February 2. They personally met with legislators in Austin to make their voice heard. Dr. Susan Miklos, Executive Director, and Glenna Bilberry, State Director, emphasized that this bill addresses a variety of critical concerns in the current foster care system, provides increased continuity of care for children and families, and will create a triage assessmentsystem to get appropriate services to high needs children more quickly.
The Bair Foundation has been a voice for child protection and advocacy since its founding in 1967. With six offices in Texas, Bair provides quality care to the most vulnerable of Texas citizens. For more information about The Bair Foundation or how to become a foster parent, see the website http://www.bair.org.
PHOTO CAPTION: Glenna Bilberry, State Director; Destiny Olson, Austin Recruiter; Kevin and Jenny Langford, foster parents; Dr. Susan Miklos, Executive Director; and Miranda Bryant, Austin Director of Social Services
The Bair Foundation received 2 grants totaling $150,000 for the Kinship Therapeutic Foster Care in Dallas, TX.
It is the philosophy of The Bair Foundation that children belong with families and not in an institution. As an alternative to a Residential Treatment Center, foster youth can have their treatment needs met in the home of a caring relative or with someone with whom they have a kinship bond. Over the past year, the Bair Foundation and Our Community Our Kids (OCOK) of Fort Worth have worked together to locate relatives and fictive kin for children placed in residential treatment centers. Thanks to two very generous community partners, Rees-Jones Foundation and The Meadows Foundation, The Bair Foundation will be able to continue and expand the Kinship Therapeutic Foster Care program (KTFC).
Once the relatives are trained and verified by The Bair Foundation, the children are placed into their homes. The children then have access to a full array of services and supports to keep them safe, achieve permanency and thrive. The Bair Foundation staff provide the kinship families with ongoing support as they help children overcome issues and learn to address their mental, social, emotional, and behavioral health needs.
The generous grant awards from Dallas-based Rees-Jones Foundation ($50,000) and The Meadows Foundation ($100,000), will enable The Bair Foundation to add two staff members, a Kinship Family Finder and a Kinship Family Trainer, to assist the current Family Search and Transition Specialist already on staff. The Rees-Jones Foundation awarded $50,000 in 2015 for the KTFC pilot initial implementation.