Family-Based Alternatives Project
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 Developmental Disabilities and the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), EveryChild’s Family Based Alternatives Project has developed and implemented a new model of services that enables children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) 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.
Develop a model for family-based alternatives for children with IDD who live in institutions or who are at risk of being placed in institutions.
This project was proposed to provide support for a broad coalition of individuals and organizations that believe children with IDD should have the right to grow up in families. Currently, more than 1,200 children with IDD under the age of 21 live in institutions in Texas. The project was designed to develop a model for family-based alternatives for children with IDD who live in institutions or who are at risk of being placed in institutions. This model would encompass the unique needs of the child, the birth family, and the alternative family.