All 39 Community Centers offer a range of services to meet the needs of children and adolescents. Strategies such as prevention, early intervention, and treatment can help children reach their full potential and avoid challenges later in life, such as substance abuse or criminal justice system involvement.
To support children’s mental health services, Texas Council:
- Advocates in Texas legislature for appropriate funding and support to ensure access to children’s mental health care. Texas Council currently participates in the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium (SB 11, 86th Legislature), a major legislative effort intended to broadly address children’s mental health needs and alleviate workforce challenges related to access to care.
- Works with advocacy groups to promote and expand services and build popular support for goals related to child and family health.
- Works with state agency staff to identify and implement new models and approaches to providing children’s mental health services.
Texas Council efforts have contributed to:
- Availability of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training at no cost to teachers and school staff, educating people who are around children on how to identify concerns and access help
- Implementation and expansion of specialized programming for young people who have experienced psychosis
- Development of school-based services and clinics to meet the needs of students and families with minimal barriers to access
- Statewide expansion of Youth Empowerment Services Waiver, offering specialized and intensive services and supports for children with the greatest needs
Early Childhood Intervention Services
Early childhood intervention (ECI) services include therapies and supports for children from 0 to 3 years of age with significant developmental delays. ECI helps children avoid the need for more intensive special education services later in life and helps families better cope with their children’s challenges.
23 Community Centers participate in the provider network offering public ECI services to children and their families, in their homes and communities or via telehealth.
On behalf of these Centers, Texas Council provides legislative advocacy, coordinates information sharing among Centers, and acts as a liaison with State agencies to support and promote a quality ECI system in Texas.
To support ECI services, Texas Council:
- Promotes the importance of ECI services to Texas Legislature and works closely with legislative representatives to draft bills and budget requests. In the FY20-21 state budget, we helped ensure an additional $24 million for ECI services was included.
- Participates in the ECI Advocacy Coalition, a stakeholder group including organizations such as Texans Care for Children, Easter Seals, and Disability Rights Texas, and works to position the Coalition as a source of information for legislators and policymakers.
- Facilitates the Texas Council ECI Consortium to inform and educate Community Centers and other service providers on relevant legislative and policy issues.