Meeting the Needs of High Needs Children in the Texas Child Welfare System.
The Stephen Group.
State Resource Technical Report
Published: November 2015
The Stephen Group (TSG) conducted an assessment of the status, policies, and practices that currently exist between Texas Child Protective Services (CPS) and Child Placing Agencies (CPA) in providing behavioral health case management services to children with the highest needs, and was asked to make recommendations on improving the performance of care based on our findings. The review also considered the intersection of responsibilities among STAR Health Medicaid services and the Local Mental Health Authorities (LMHA) as well. The review found there is a lack of a clear standard for what “high needs” means within the child welfare system, there is a lack of accountability as children move through the various systems of care, and there are gaps in training, process, and organization within CPS to deal specifically with high needs children. Recommendations are made and include: develop a uniform, standard definition of children with high needs; identify a clearly defined mechanisms and map them to specific interventions that meet the particular child’s needs and ensure the correct process is followed in every child’s case; build an accountable case management process in an integrated model of care; use prevention strategies to stabilize high needs children who are not in crisis situations; establish process and organizational improvements for how CPS works with this population; and focus on high intensity in-home supports that provide the continuity for essential services to reduce the risk of recurrence.
children with disabilities; foster children; behavior problems; child welfare services; promising practices; prevention; mental health services; home based services; family support systems; Texas