The Texas Education Agency (TEA), Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), Texas Supreme Court’s Education Committee of the Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families (Children’s Commission) and Houston Independent School District (HISD) have received a federal grant through the US DHHS Administration for Children and Families (ACF). The grant will fund the “Texas Trio Project” which will strengthen court, education and child welfare connections to improve educational outcomes for foster youth.
TEA, the lead agency for the grant, has contracted with the Child and Family Research Instituteto conduct a process evaluation, produce data sharing recommendations, provide training and technical assistance and conduct a survey of school district foster care liaisons. The Texas Trio Project will develop a state plan and protocol for education and foster care collaborations as well as implement a demonstration project in HISD.
Because the federal grant is funding the Texas Trio Project for 16 months, long term outcomes are not reasonable to assess in this evaluation. Rather, short term outcomes related to establishing baselines, developing relationships and collaboration building will be measured through a process evaluation. Information and tools will be provided to assist the project team with gathering data and analyzing data over the course of the contract to contribute toward reaching long term outcomes after the grant period ends.
The process evaluation will:
- describe the process of collaboration and outcomes of the Trio Project,
- develop a system for the project team to collect and present the data on the outcomes, measures and indications that are identified in the federal grant application,
- identify the barriers and facilitators of collaboration,
- provide findings and recommendations that will assist the project team with sustaining and strengthening the collaboration after the grant period ends in order to assist the state with improving educational outcomes for youth in foster care.