AUSTIN, Texas (June 14, 2023) — The Moritz Center for Societal Impact (MCSI) in the Steve Hicks School of Social Work will receive $12 million in funding through 2025, as provided by the Texas Legislature’s 88th Regular Session. The funding has been sent to the Governor’s Office for final approval.

A new SHS partner, the Heart Galleries of Texas, will utilize this funding to create a state-wide network that promotes awareness and offers support for adoptive parent recruitment as well as placement of children and adolescents with families in a forever home.

As part of this new opportunity, MCSI welcomes Kori Gough to the team, a celebrated social worker whose longtime work in the foster care space has helped countless children across the state. She will be collaborating alongside Jeanette Davidson, who recently was announced as the inaugural director. Both bring SHS and MCSI distinctive talent and a wealth of experience.

“Our mission at MCSI is clear – we are designing solutions for our society’s toughest challenges,” said Davidson. “With this funding, we can immediately impact the lives of vulnerable children. Our programs can now reach a wider set of needs and can create and strengthen better lives for Texas families throughout the state.”

MCSI’s partnership with SHS’s Texas Institute for Child and Family Wellbeing (TXICFW), led by Dr. Monica Faulkner, will be key to the success of this effort with the Heart Galleries of Texas. TXICFW’s focus on the well-being and resilience of children, families, and the people who serve them will offer research-oriented collaboration that will change lives.

“I am thrilled that MCSI and other SHS partners have the opportunity to lead in this invaluable work,” said Allan Cole, dean of SHS and MCSI’s founding director. “We have created excellent momentum for this Center, which directly serves UT’s strategic vision to become the world’s most impactful public research university. I deeply appreciate the resources provided by our Legislature to advance how we help serve children and families in Texas.”

MCSI will continue seeking opportunities to collaborate with additional SHS Institutes and Centers, as well as with external agency partners, to promote human flourishing and enhance the public good.