TXPOP develops sustainable best practices utilized by child welfare agencies across Texas to connect children to their birth families, regardless of their permanency outcome. TXPOP is a project of the Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing and the Texas Center for Child and Family Studies, in collaboration with the federal Children’s Bureau, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, and the Children’s Commission.

This project is creating a new practice model to help child welfare agencies engage birth families in planning and decision-making, build partnerships between birth families and foster families, and increase foster children’s sense of belonging. By implementing innovative strategies that put children’s voices at the heart of the work, TXPOP will build empathy and understanding between birth families, foster families, and child welfare practitioners.

TXPOP will provide agencies with tools and support to reduce the amount of time children spend in foster care, establish permanency plans that take into consideration the wishes of children and families, and ensure all caregivers involved feel respected throughout the process.

Additionally, the project will include a statewide capacity building effort which includes a social marketing campaign, an online learning community, and training which is intended to shift values and beliefs around relational permanence for children.

This project will assist Texas in improving permanency and wellbeing outcomes of federal Child and Family Service Review measures.

The TXPOP evaluation is a rigorous mixed methods design which includes process and outcome measures in addition to continuous quality improvement activities.

TXPOP helps answer whether the following lead to better outcomes for foster children: 1) better engagement of children, families, and their networks; 2) good partnerships between birth families and foster families; and 3) enhanced collaboration of all parties involved in a case. TXPOP also contributes to the knowledge-base around implementation science.