Young Texans Thrive, better known as Thrive, is a state initiative to promote the wellness of young children, ages zero to five, by addressing their social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development through the lens of the community systems that support young children and their families. Funded by the Child and Adolescent Health Branch of the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), Thrive began in November of 2020 in concert with DSHS efforts to create early childhood systems of care through the Help Me Grow national framework. The Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health (TIEMH) at the University of Texas at Austin, as the lead for Thrive, will capture lessons from these and other early childhood initiatives in the state to create a platform for further expansion and development.

Responsibility for enhancing early childhood developmental and social-emotional wellness in Texas is dispersed across different state systems and several agencies contribute to local system of care development. Thrive aims to support state and local activities by bringing together key systems and stakeholders to map current activities and resources, identify shared goals and objectives, and create pathways to build upon past and current successes. Young Texans Thrive activities will intentionally aim to engage diverse families who have experience with early childhood systems in informing and driving the system development and to target efforts at identifying, preventing, and addressing systemic inequities and the underlying social determinants of health.

Key goals for Thrive are to (a) develop a comprehensive, three-year strategic plan to support the expansion of community-based early childhood systems of care; (b) develop and expand upon readiness in at least three Texas communities working on early childhood system building; and (c) identify opportunities at the state and local levels to continue to invest and sustain effective early childhood practices.