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Recent News

HCPS offers new parenting class 
Published on October 19, 2017 by Christina M. Wright in Newsletter
Free one-day parenting classes are now available through the HCPS JP Court Liaisons program.   The second round of “Teen Awareness” classes begins this fall, in addition to parenting classes offered through the TRIAD Prevention Program. The classes are open to the general public, as well as those required by court.   “We wanted to offer an additional service for those individuals who are due back to court, and there are no PLL (Parenting with Love and Limits) and PTS (Parent/Teen Survival) classes available or scheduled,” said Shenetha Toliver, JP Court program specialist.   Teenagers and their parents will attend two separate group sessions during the class. Parents will discuss tips regarding their child’s grades and attendance and building relationships with school officials. Students will learn about goal setting and decision-making, proper ways to show respect, social media etiquette and the dangers of running away and human trafficking.   The Teen Awareness class was piloted last school year with three one-day classes. More than 150 parents and teenagers attended the classes.   “The class is one day, but the skills our participants learn are far more long-lasting,” said ...
HCPS works through Harvey to serve clients, community 
Published on August 31, 2017 by Christina M. Wright in Newsletter
Evelyn Emdin, HCPS Kinder Emergency Shelter program manager, and the 14 youth under her watch worked together to devise a plan for additional food items on Sunday. They had been sheltered-in-place throughout Hurricane Harvey and remained optimistic. “It was so exciting and amazing to know the strength of these children,” Emdin said Tuesday. Emdin was one of several HCPS staff members who remained at the Youth Services Center throughout the record-breaking Houston disaster, and many more staff who remained committed to the community and their clients from the first day. “Judge Ed Emmett has encouraged staff to volunteer this week, while our buildings are closed. But what’s amazing about our HCPS staff is they didn’t need that encouragement,” said Joel Levine, HCPS executive director. “They were already in the community, helping the public and each other.” Community Youth Services (CYS) staff have volunteered at major shelters, such as those at the George R. Brown Convention Center and NRG Stadium, as well as those in their own communities. Kristen Ballard, a CYS program manager, said one of her staff members arranged the setup for a shelter. CYS ...
HCPS Clinic prescribes back-to-school fun & health 
Published on August 1, 2017 by Christina M. Wright in Newsletter
John C., 14, gleefully raised his hand when his raffle number was called Saturday at the first-ever HCPS Integrated Healthcare Clinic Family Fun Day & Health Fair. He won a donated $25 gift card for ALDI. “What I’m going to do is get some stuff I really need,” John said. “What I really need are snacks! Because when I go to school, I’m going to need it.” John was one of more than 120 children who attended the fair, an effort for the HCPS Integrated Healthcare Clinic to help children and the community prepare for the coming school year. The fair included free vaccinations, school supplies, bike helmets, food, games and giveaways, many from sponsors. ALDI donated $1,000 in gift cards, the AT&T Pioneers donated school supplies, Cigna donated backpacks and Texas Children’s Hospital donated bike helmets and bike lights. Wesley Windom, of Respectful Zone Emergency Shelter, said he brought John and 15 other youth to the fair as a regular weekend outing. “This was a lot of fun for them,” Windom said. “A great way to spend a Saturday morning.” More than ...
HCPS leader speaks to Hogg Foundation podcast 
Published on July 14, 2017 by Christina M. Wright in In the News
Two years ago, the Hogg Foundation commissioned an evaluation of the Harris County Protective Services (HCPS) Integrated Health Care Program for Foster Children, a pilot program funded in 2012 and launched in 2014. The program led to the creation of the HCPS Integrated Health Care Clinic, which adapts the integrated health care model to foster care settings. Joining host Ike Evans to speak about the program’s successes and limitations is Jacquelyn McMillon, Children’s Services Administrator at the clinic. Kate Murphy, a policy associate at Texans Care for Children, follows up McMillon’s insights with a special report on the 85th legislative session’s impact on child welfare at large. Read more on the Hogg Foundation website.
HCPS executive director highlights values in keynote speech 
Published on July 13, 2017 by Christina M. Wright in Newsletter
HCPS employees embodied the department’s core values during Thursday’s “Employee Appreciation Ceremony and Core Values Inauguration.” As part of the bi-annual all-staff Executive Forum, employees received awards and demonstrated the new HCPS values. More than 300 employees participated in the event at the Power Center, divided between morning and afternoon sessions. Executive Director Joel Levine kicked off each session with the keynote speech, explaining how the most recent HCPS initiative – first-ever core values – affects all other parts of HCPS and its clients. The HCPS values, released earlier this year, are: Help, Excellence, Accountability, Respect and Teamwork (H.E.A.R.T.). “They form the building blocks of our agency and help us to define right and wrong, as well as help us determine the behaviors and perspectives that are valued within our culture,” Levine said.  “Culture is a living, breathing thing.” To showcase how important each HCPS value is to the overall mission, employees from each division then a delivered a brief presentation exhibiting each. The presentations took different forms: two as songs, one as a rally and another as a teambuilding exercise. Following the presentations, employees who have reached milestone years with HCPS received ...