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HCPS Clinic becomes first Center of Excellence in Harris County
Published on May 16, 2017 by Christina M. Wright in Newsletter
The Harris County Protective Services (HCPS) Integrated Healthcare Clinic, a unique clinic dedicated to treating the trauma of children in foster care, is now the first Foster Care Center of Excellence in Harris County.   “You really are willing to go the extra mile to provide quality services to children who are in foster care,” said Robert Wells, Superior Health Services Transformation projects manager.   Wells presented the Center of Excellence designation Tuesday at a special ceremony celebrating the collaboration between HCPS, UTHealth, the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) and Superior Health.   “We are proud to receive this designation,” said Joel Levine, HCPS executive director. “It is a reflection of the hard work our staff has done to ensure children with visible and invisible wounds can heal in a safe, inviting atmosphere.”   Superior Health gives the Center of Excellence title to clinics that meet a higher standard of care for children in DFPS custody covered through the Superior Health Medicaid plan. The HCPS Clinic is now the only clinic to receive the designation in Harris County and the second in Texas.   “We’ve developed the clinic into a true comprehensive medical home for children with CPS involvement by providing competent and compassionate pediatric care for the whole child,” said Dr. Kevin Lally, UTHealth chairman of the Pediatric Department and Pediatric Surgery.   UTHealth provides pediatric services to the clinic through Dr. Kim Cheung, who has worked there since 1994, and psychiatric services through Dr. Chris Frederick.   The Integrated Healthcare Clinic was established in 1972 to provide specialty services to meet the needs of children who have experienced trauma and been placed in DFPS care. It has been recognized as a one-of-a-kind clinic for offering medical, dental and mental health services in one location to all foster children in Harris County.   “What sets the HCPS clinic apart from others is its wide range of services through a team of providers who are specially-trained to work with traumatized children and their caregivers,” said Charlotte Donner, Clinical Services manager. “We treat the whole child and provide support to their caregivers.”   The Family Support Navigator program – added in 2015 as the clinic’s newest component – provides caregivers of children in state care with a personalized service utilizing parents who have first-hand experience with the complex social services system. The navigators become one-on-one coaches to relatives caring for children in DFPS care, aiming to reduce caregiver stress by providing community resources, parenting education and emotional support.   CJ Broussard-White, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Region 6A (Harris County) director, spoke during Tuesday’s event about the many ways HCPS aids the children in DFPS care, pointing out the difficulty of the work by the clinic staff.   “I know that it has not been easy, because when you think about the population that you serve, it can’t be easy,” Broussard-White said. “I know that you see a lot of things and you hear a lot of different things, but you have not given up. And because you have not given up, you have been recognized as a Center of Excellence.”   If you or someone you know cares for children in DFPS care, contact the clinic at 713-295-2570.
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Recent News

Recent HCPS Happenings

New HCPS board members: Sheila Aron & Darryl King

Published on November 21, 2016 by Christina M. Wright in Newsletter
New HCPS board members: Sheila Aron & Darryl King

An author and a Houston-based entrepreneur joined the HCPS board this quarter, nearly filling the seats on the 15-member board.

Sheila Aron is a parenting book author who has a passion for child abuse prevention. In October, Aron donated 100 copies of her book, “I’m Glad I’m Me: Weaving the Thread of Love From Generation to Generation” to foster parents.

Darryl King is co-founder and CEO of management consulting firm Principle Partnering Group, LLC. King serves on several local and statewide boards for organizations dedicated to outreach, business and youth.

Commissioner Steve Radack, Precinct 3, appointed Aron. Commissioner Jack Cagle, Precinct 4, appointed King. 


Recent News

UTHealth physicians help foster children heal from trauma 
Published on May 22, 2017 by Christina M. Wright in In the News
HOUSTON – (May 16, 2017) – In Harris County, there are over 4,000 children in the custody of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). Providing specialized care to these children at the Harris County Protective Services Clinic are physicians with McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). In recognition of the high standard of care provided to foster children who have experienced trauma, the clinic has been named the first Foster Care Center of Excellence in Harris County. To read more, click here.
HCPS Clinic becomes first Center of Excellence in Harris County 
Published on May 16, 2017 by Christina M. Wright in Newsletter
The Harris County Protective Services (HCPS) Integrated Healthcare Clinic, a unique clinic dedicated to treating the trauma of children in foster care, is now the first Foster Care Center of Excellence in Harris County.   “You really are willing to go the extra mile to provide quality services to children who are in foster care,” said Robert Wells, Superior Health Services Transformation projects manager.   Wells presented the Center of Excellence designation Tuesday at a special ceremony celebrating the collaboration between HCPS, UTHealth, the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) and Superior Health.   “We are proud to receive this designation,” said Joel Levine, HCPS executive director. “It is a reflection of the hard work our staff has done to ensure children with visible and invisible wounds can heal in a safe, inviting atmosphere.”   Superior Health gives the Center of Excellence title to clinics that meet a higher standard of care for children in DFPS custody covered through the Superior Health Medicaid plan. The HCPS Clinic is now the only clinic to receive the designation in Harris County and the second in Texas.   “We’ve developed the clinic into a true comprehensive medical home for children with CPS involvement by providing competent and compassionate ...
JP Court Liaisons advise parents to Make It Right 
Published on May 11, 2017 by Christina M. Wright in Newsletter
JP Court Liaisons distributed information about HCPS and its youth programs at the "Make It Right!" event meant to aid Harris County parents in resolving outstanding low-level warrants. "Parents shouldn’t have to worry about being pulled over on the way to drop their children off to school or being concerned when they take their teenager to get their driver’s license," said JP Court Program Specialist Shenetha Toliver. "Those should be memory-building events, free of stress," added Dina Johnson, also a JP Court Program Specialist. Make It Right invited Harris County residents with warrants resulting from nonviolent misdemeanor offenses that were filed in Precincts 1 and 6 to attend the event and clear those pending cases. JP Court Liaisons work with teenagers who have Class C misdemeanors, and their families. They encourage parents to take part in any Make It Right event in order to be more effective parents. Eligible charges for Make It Right include, but are not limited to, failure to appear, public intoxication, disorderly conduct and theft of less than $100. Traffic offenses and felonies are not eligible. "This ...
Youth organizing toiletry drive 
Published on April 24, 2017 by Christina M. Wright in General
HCPS clients often find themselves in need of basic supplies, leading the HCPS Youth On B.O.A.R.D. to step in with the “Everything But Food” toiletry drive. The youth, partnering with Hearts & Hands, are asking the community to donate basic necessities – such as soap and first aid supplies – by the May 1 deadline. Hearts & Hands partners with Houston Food Bank and local grocery stores to secure food items for families, “but they have a hard time securing the non-food items that can help alleviate the financial strain on families that fall below the poverty line,” said Craig Cormier, vice president of Youth On B.O.A.R.D. “I’m hoping that everyone will see this as a worthy cause and will help support families – particular the children in these families – to do things we take for granted, like having toothpaste to begin their day and sponges to wash their dishes,” Cormier said. Donations to the “Everything But Food” toiletry drive can be dropped off at the Youth Services Center at 6300 Chimney Rock Rd. and 2525 Murworth Dr. Checks, made out to Hearts & Hands, are also accepted. The Youth On B.O.A.R.D. is an HCPS ...
Word from the Executive Director: HCPS Core Values 
Published on March 31, 2017 by Christina M. Wright in Word from the ED
I am delighted to introduce the new HCPS core values – principles that reflect what is truly important to us, how we go about doing our work and practices we will use in everything we do. As Executive Director, I placed development of these core values as one of my top priorities. It is part of a larger initiative to strategically begin crafting the HCPS culture to better reflect the agency we have become. We were born as a child welfare board with one purpose and have expanded over the past 50 years into an entire county department with  more than a dozen programs serving vulnerable adults, children at-risk and abused and neglected children. We need values that bring our staff together to fulfill our vision to better the lives of children and adults in Harris County. We wanted as many blocs of HCPS to help develop these core values, as they are the ones who know most about our needs and our clients’ needs. The HCPS Quality Improvement Team gathered online survey information from staff and the HCPS Board of ...
HAY Center Prom Event outfits foster youth 
Published on March 30, 2017 by Christina M. Wright in Newsletter
Five years ago, Phyllis Ocean fitted a vision-impaired teenager in a maroon dress. She and another volunteer at The HAY Center Prom Readiness Event had helped the foster youth pick out the dress, silver shoes and accessories. “She just lit up; she looked radiant,” Ocean recalled recently. “All teenagers deserve to have that special moment” of finding the perfect prom outfit. Ocean, a member of the Houston Bar Association, was one of more than 90 volunteers who helped nearly 80 foster youth prepare their night-to-remember garb on March 27. Volunteer groups also included the Houston Young Lawyers Association, Benefit Bettie and Bellaire United Methodist Church. “We extend the most heart-felt thank you to every volunteer, staff member and donor who has contributed to this event for the past six years,” said Mary Green, director of The HAY Center. “Without their generosity, this event could never happen.” The HAY Center converted its entire West Clay Street building into a mini store, complete with racks of donated dresses and suits, ties, shoes, undergarments and jewelry. Each foster youth was treated to a personal shopper to help ...
HCPS Integrated Clinic highlighted by Hogg Foundation 
Published on January 20, 2017 by Christina M. Wright in In the News
Integrated health care is the coordination of physical and behavioral health care. In 2012, Harris County Protective Services (HCPS) received funding from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health to plan and implement an integrated health care program for children ages birth through 17 in state care. Stakeholders in protective services reported that the existing system of care was a "broken" system. Read more from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health.
HCPS retirees honored for combined 125 years of dedication 
Published on November 21, 2016 by Christina M. Wright in Newsletter
HCPS proudly recognized four retirees whose totaled years of dedicated service to HCPS surpassed 125 years.  The four retirees were:  Debra Andrews Training Institute Director Andrews retired with 20 years of service. In her final position as Training Institute director, she headed the department revamp and helped develop a unique prevention assessment tool. Ross Galizio CYS Supervisor Galizio retired with 27 years of service to HCPS, finishing his tenure as a vital member of the Community Youth Services (CYS) team, which helps youth and their families through in-community crisis intervention. Claudia Flores Administrative Support Flores retired with 43 years of service to HCPS. She held several administrative positions over her tenure, the last with the HCPS Parent/Teen Survival program. Robbie Pennington Accounting Supervisor Pennington retired with 39 years of service. She was instrumental in the financial organization of the Guardianship Program, which HCPS acquired in 2003.
New HCPS board members: Sheila Aron & Darryl King 
Published on November 21, 2016 by Christina M. Wright in Newsletter
An author and a Houston-based entrepreneur joined the HCPS board this quarter, nearly filling the seats on the 15-member board. Sheila Aron is a parenting book author who has a passion for child abuse prevention. In October, Aron donated 100 copies of her book, “I’m Glad I’m Me: Weaving the Thread of Love From Generation to Generation” to foster parents. Darryl King is co-founder and CEO of management consulting firm Principle Partnering Group, LLC. King serves on several local and statewide boards for organizations dedicated to outreach, business and youth. Commissioner Steve Radack, Precinct 3, appointed Aron. Commissioner Jack Cagle, Precinct 4, appointed King. 
Youth On B.O.A.R.D. vice president active in community, career 
Published on November 21, 2016 by Christina M. Wright in Newsletter
The unassuming teenager, slim and soft-spoken, took the stage. Suddenly, a sweet, smooth jazz rendition of “The Children are Our Future,” filled the Houston Junior League ballroom during the “At the Heart of Families Luncheon.” Kymora Anderson, 16, is that teenager. She has been part of the HCPS Youth On B.O.A.R.D. for three years, but it is just one item on her growing pre-collegiate resume. The high school junior sings all genres. She said Youth On B.O.A.R.D. gave her the confidence to pursue and thrive in other areas of her life. She was instrumental in the youth’s anti-stigma workshop and another improving youth and adult relationships. Youth On B.O.A.R.D. encourages teenagers to have a voice. By all appearances, Anderson has found hers.
Editorial: There should be no debate about protecting our senior citizens 
Published on November 17, 2016 by Christina M. Wright in In the News
Elder abuse is all too common in Harris County. It's not just instances of severe neglect such as the case in north Houston that made national headlines in 2013 when three malnourished elderly men were found inside a garage. They had been without access to a bathroom for a year. But financial abuse is prevalent, too. Harris County Commissioners Court has the opportunity to step up its efforts to protect the elderly when it votes today to accept a grant from the federal government to create a senior assessment center. Read more from The Houston Chronicle.
County officials: Raise education requirements for CPS caseworkers 
Published on November 17, 2016 by Christina M. Wright in In the News
Facing significant turnover of Child Protective Services caseworkers, a state agency this year waived the requirement that applicants have bachelor's degrees from college. But that decision won't help the children that the state is trying to protect, say the leaders of Harris County Protective Services, which for 50 years has helped CPS address child welfare in the county. The leaders conveyed their concerns in a recent letter to DFPS. Read more from The Houston Chronicle.