EveryChild, Inc. — Family Based Alternatives Expansion Project

Family Based Alternatives Expansion Project

Statewide Need
Permanency planning has been federally mandated for children since 1980 but has not, until recently, been a protection for children in the disability services system. While Texas has shown leadership in this area, implementation has been hampered by lack of availability of family-based alternatives to facility care. With funding from the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities and the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), EveryChild’s Family Based Alternatives Project (FBA) has developed and implemented a new model of services that enables children with developmental disabilities (DD) to live with families. While continued HHSC funding supports EveryChild’s core effort, there are activities not supported by those funds that could contribute to the substantial progress made toward development of a system of family-based alternatives to institutions.

Project Goal
Expand the state’s capacity to offer family-based alternatives to institutions for children with DD and supplement efforts related to EveryChild’s contract with the HHSC.

Project Summary
The FBA project developed outreach and recruitment strategies to attract families interested in caring for children with DD. EveryChild increased awareness of FBAs through presentations, training, technical assistance tools, and promotional materials. They also collaborated to develop instructional videos on waiver support services. With the assistance of the project’s activities, 157 children moved from facilities to families over the course of the project. Some returned home, while others were placed with support families where a family that cannot provide all of the care for their child works with a qualified support family with whom their child is placed.

Special attention was given to coordinating family support focused on children living in facilities in rural East Texas. Ninety-three children were identified and screened for FBA in rural East Texas pediatric nursing homes. Of those, 63 families were contacted, and 35 families gave consent to explore other options.

EveryChild increased interest and provider commitment to expand the capacity to offer FBAs through provider collaboration. Provider consortia were held in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. EveryChild also worked to increase awareness of Positive Behavioral Supports (PBS) among agencies serving the needs of children, including state agencies and provider organizations.

  • Impact
    • 157 children moved from facilities to families
      • 50 children returned home
      • 107 children were placed with support families
    • 49 children from East Texas were assisted to live with families, mostly from pediatric nursing homes
    • 1,229 individuals attended trainings on FBA and PBS
      • 226 provider staff, DADS and DFPS staff, and support families were trained on PBS
    • 53 provider consortia were facilitated with 25 provider organizations in attendance

Project Period
Apr 2006 – Dec 2009

8400 N. MoPac, Suite 201
Austin, TX 78759

Geographic Reach

Orange shape of Texas indicating state wide coverage