Frontline For Children | October + November 2021

We pulled together this month’s most noteworthy child welfare research articles for you. Read them all here and take action today!

  1. Texas Department of Family Protective Services recently released grants to 5 organizations to establish Family Resource Centers (FRCs) across the state.

A recent study from the Community Partnership Family Resource Center (FRC) found that a community in Colorado experienced a 63% reduction in the rate of child abuse after a Family Resource Center was established in the community.

TexProtects Takeaway: In August 2021, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) announced the awarding of five grants, totaling over $1 million each, to community organizations across the state of Texas. These grants to communities will assist in the creation of Family Resource Centers (FRCs) in Cameron, Harris, El Paso, Hidalgo, and Travis counties. FRCs are designed to be one-stop centers of community support, connecting families to a range of support services such as housing, employment, concrete services, parenting support groups, child development classes and more.  The creation of FRCs in Texas is part of a multi-year plan by DFPS to prevent child abuse and neglect in Texas.

FRCs are already established in many states with positive outcomes for children and families. A recent study published by the Community Partnership Family Resource Center in Teller, Colorado, found that that a community in Colorado experienced a 63% reduction in the rate of child abuse over a 3-year period after a Family Resource Center was established in the community. The study concluded, “FRCs play a key role in preventing child abuse and neglect.” The findings also indicated savings to the county child welfare system of $2.92 for every $1 invested in the FRC. TexProtects is excited to see Texas invest in FRCs across the state that will connect families to necessary resources and help in the prevention of child abuse and neglect.

2. How are Texas families using their Child Tax Credit payments? (Social Policy Institute at the Washington University of St. Louis)

While the deadline to enroll in the advance #ChildTaxCredit has passed, families are still able to claim their full Child Tax Credit when filing taxes in 2022. Check out this fact sheet to see how Texas families and children have benefited from this lifeline!

TexProtects Takeaway: A recent fact sheet published by the Social Policy Institute at the Washington University of St. Louis reveals the temporary expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) is projected to cut American child poverty by more than half. This tax credit expansion provides families with $3,600 for every child in the household under the age of six, and $3,000 for every child between the ages of six and 17. This study found that “the vast majority of U.S. families with children are eligible for the CTC” and “almost two-thirds of eligible TX families received the CTC.

How did Texas families use this extra support? The study found Texans utilized this extra income to purchase food for their families, pay their bills, pay for school expenses, and to purchase clothing or other essential items for their children.  The study also found that families who were eligible for the tax credit “experienced lower rates of severe food insecurity” after the payments were sent out. Now all eyes are on the Build Back Better Act, a federal reconciliation package, which if signed into law would include a permanent extension of the child tax credit, lifting even more Texas children out of poverty!

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