Private Contractor for Region 2 announced

On Monday, June 4th, DFPS announced that a Community Based Care (CBC) contract with New Horizons Ranch and Texas Family Initiative has been finalized. The two contractors will operate under the name “2Ingage”, which will serve as the Single Source Continuum Contractor (SSCC) for all of Region 2. Under the Community Based Care model, 2Ingage will be responsible for maintaining the foster care network, coordinating all services and providing all case management services for children in state care. The transfer of case management responsibilities would took place 12-18 months after the contractor assumes full control of placing children and coordinating services.

Both previous attempts to roll out the Foster Care Redesign model in Region 2 failed. In August 2013, Providence Service Corp. became the first SSCC in Texas. In August 2014, Providence abandoned the contract after losing $2 million. DFPS and state employees were then responsible for rebuilding the foster care network and reestablishing community connections. A second attempt to roll out Foster Care Redesign in 2017 failed after serious conflicts of interests between an FPS contract negotiator and a private contractor came to light.

Currently, no counties are operating under the Community Based Care model. The seven counties in Region 3B have been operating under the Foster Care Redesign model since 2015 with ACH acting as the SSCC. However Region 3B has not moved to the CBC model, which extends privatization to case management services. Bexar County has also been announced as an area where the CBC model will expand, but no announcements about a contractor have been made yet.

Performance Measures Self Reported: A goal of Foster Care Redesign is to keep foster children closer to their home communities while in care. When these seven counties are compared to other counties with similar populations of children in care, their performance is in line with these other, non- Redesigned counties. (See chart below) An audit earlier this year by the State Auditor’s Office found that many of the performance measures reported back to DFPS by ACH weren’t verified by DFPS to ensure accuracy.

What’s Next? As earlier efforts to privatize in Region 2 have shown, privatization is never a “done-deal”. TSEU members across Texas will be continuing to urge elected officials to support changes and funding that address the problems we face in DFPS, instead of punting issues to private agencies. Outsourcing responsibility for vulnerable Texans won’t improve outcomes, and will reduce accountability.

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