EMPOWER, a child welfare collaborative, is proud to start managing child placement services, as of September 1, 2023. EMPOWER was awarded as the Community-Based Care (CBC) contractor by the State of Texas for Metroplex East, a nine-county region which includes Dallas, Collin, Ellis, Fannin, Grayson, Hunt, Kaufman, Navarro and Rockwall.
“Our organization is committed to providing children with attentive care and a safe environment to ensure their overall wellbeing,” says Dr. Linda Garcia, EMPOWER Senior Vice President. “As a lead agency in the CBC model to oversee child placement services, EMPOWER can help children in the Metroplex East region stay connected to their communities and families and experience a permanent and safe environment.”
During Stage I, EMPOWER will develop a network of services and place children in foster homes or other living arrangements. The focus in Stage I is improving the overall wellbeing of children in foster care and keeping them closer to home and connected to their communities and families. In Stage II, EMPOWER will begin providing case management, kinship and reunification services. Stage II expands the continuum of services to include assistance for families and to increase the number of children and youth who find permanent homes.
According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), from September 2021 to February 2022, on average there were 2,456 children in DFPS conservatorship in Texas’ Metroplex East region. Around 79% of those foster children were placed within the same Metroplex East region, and 37.8% were placed in their home county.
“There is a significant need for foster homes in the Metroplex East to provide children with a nurturing environment to impact their overall wellbeing,” continues Garcia. “We hope to educate the local communities on the crucial roles foster parents play and provide the resources needed to guide them through the process while also placing children in licensed homes within their community.”
The Metroplex East contract is one of the largest CBC awards in U.S. history, and the fifth region in Texas to transition to CBC services. The EMPOWER collaborative is led by Texas Family Initiative (TFI) and is supported by local providers in North Texas, including CK Family Services, Jonathan’s Place, The Bair Foundation and Pathways Youth and Family Services.
There are many local children in foster care in need of a safe, loving place to call home. To learn more about how individuals and families can help these children in need, please visit www.3empower.org.