AUSTIN, Texas — The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health at The University of Texas at Austin has awarded nine grants totaling $375,800 in the Houston/Harris County area. The grants are the result of a recently launched initiative to identify and address the mental health needs of transition-age youths and their families (TAYF).
Transition-age youths (TAY) are identified as people between the ages of 14 and 21. TAY with mental health conditions experience the unique and compounding challenges of aging out of a children’s system and transitioning into an adult system. The foundation believes that by providing opportunities for TAYF to have a voice as equal partners at all levels of program planning, development and implementation, the results will yield a more comprehensive and relevant array of services and supports.
The TAYF initiative consists of two types of grants: one Transition-Age Youth Coordinator Grant and eight Transition-Age Youth Planning Grants. The role of the Coordinator is to coordinate a strategic learning process for Planning grantees to understand best practices when working with TAYF in Houston/Harris County. The intertwining of the two grant programs allows for the Coordinator grantee to work with the Planning grantees in coordinating the process for building a coordinated, TAYF-guided service and support system.
The TAY Coordinator Grant of $175,800 has been awarded to Texas Network of Youth Services (TNOYS). TNOYS will use this one-year grant to organize and facilitate meetings for the Planning grantees, including TAYF, arrange consultations with TAYF leaders and experts for technical assistance and training and support grantees in their ability to involve TAYF as active partners. In turn, the six-month Planning grantees were awarded funds to participate along with TAYF in trainings and meetings and to use their collective acquired skills to develop services and supports that are reflective of collaboration and best practices when working with TAYF. The TAY Planning Grant awardees are:
• Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics —To support the Adolescent and Sports Medicine department to expand current transition collaborations to enhance the participation of TAYF in mental health treatment.
• Communities In Schools of Houston Inc. —To support efforts to plan and establish TAYF-driven services in the area of school dropout prevention.
• Disability Rights Texas —To support collaborative work with TAYF and other stakeholders to plan the provision of legal services and self-advocacy skills training for TAYF with mental health conditions.
• Easter Seals of Greater Houston Inc. —To support a collaboration of organizations that want to provide transition services leading to higher education and employment for teens and young adults with autism spectrum disorder.
• Family Services of Greater Houston —To support the organization’s goal of engaging TAYF in developing resources to support the emotional and behavioral health needs of transition-age youths and their families.
• Harris County Protective Services for Children and Adults —To support the activities of the Houston Alumni & Youth Center, a one-stop center where foster care and former foster care youths can receive a wide range of transition resources, services and support.
• Houston Department of Health and Human Services — For its Houston Youth: Healthy Transitions project, a planning process that will involve TAYF to develop young people to be integrated health mentors.
• Star of Hope Mission — To support the development and delivery of supportive services to TAYF through their three main facilities: the Men’s Development Center, the Women & Family Shelter and the Transitional Living Center.
“For more than three decades the Hogg Foundation, in keeping with Miss Ima Hogg’s will, has funded mental health services for children, youths and their families in Houston and Harris County,” said Dr. Octavio N. Martinez, Jr., executive director of the Hogg Foundation. “The TAYF grant initiative represents an exciting new opportunity for the development of services and supports that are uniquely tailored to the needs of this important segment of our community.”
The Hogg Foundation advances recovery and wellness in Texas by funding mental health services, policy analysis, research and public education. The foundation was created in 1940 by the children of former Texas Gov. James S. Hogg and is part of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin.