The Council initially approved an Executive Summary to fund a conference in Houston that replicates the Central Texas African American Family Support conference (CTAAFSC) hosted by Austin Travis County Integral Care (ATCIC) and sponsored by community partners from the public and private sectors. The CTAAFSC is an annual event that has been successful in addressing myths about mental illness, treatment for mental illness, and issues related to health disparities experienced by African Americans. The CTAAFSC targets the African American community and focuses on providing culturally appropriate information for African Americans in a culturally appropriate forum, and also embraces all members of the community regardless of race/ethnicity. The mission of the CTAAFSC is to strengthen family and individual awareness of available health care services (behavioral and physical) through culturally sensitive education, supports, and partnerships. It strives to increase individual and family awareness of available behavioral and physical healthcare services, reduce stigma, and eliminate health disparities.
TCDD released an RFP for this project February 12, 2010 and received 3 applications. The Executive Committee approved the review panel recommendation to award funds to Parents Anonymous, Inc., (PA) for this project. PA proposed to provide support and coordination for a Regional Texas African American Family Support Conference for three years in Greater Houston, later named the Gulf Coast of Texas African American Family Support Conference.
TCDD initially authorized up to $50,000 to Parents Anonymous, Inc., for the first year; $35,000 for year 2; and $15,000 for year 3 of a three-year project to host the Gulf Coast of Texas African American Family Support Conference in Greater Houston. The project started on Sept. 1, 2010, and hosted the first conference on August 4, 2011, in the Greater Houston area for up to 121 people with disabilities, their families, community members and professionals on available health care services (behavioral and physical) through culturally sensitive education supports and partnerships.
At the August 2011 Council meeting the TCDD Executive Committee reviewed information provided by staff regarding efforts of Parents Anonymous to date and voted to not continue funding to Parents Anonymous for years 2 and 3 of the Gulf Coast of Texas African American Family Support Conference project. The Council believes that it is crucial to the long term viability and success of this effort to have an organization with presence within the geographic region; and believes this is essential for the conference to effectively build capacity and sustainability.
State Plan Goal and Objective: Goal 5
Demonstrate how to prevent unnecessary admissions to State Supported Living Centers (SSLC) by supporting community organizations in at least at least 1 HHS Region to increase their capacity to provide community-based services that support people with developmental disabilities to improve and maintain their health and have access as needed to necessary healthcare, behavior supports, community services, and/or respite, by 9/31/2016.
As funds are available, demonstrate and evaluate other strategies to support individuals with developmental disabilities to improve and/or maintain their health and well-being.
An annual, sustainable, event modeled on the Central Texas African American Family Support Conference will be held annually in Greater Houston.
The Gulf Coast of Texas African American Family Support Conference would be established as a yearly event, free to people with disabilities and their families, hosted by a local organization and sponsored by community partners from the public and private sectors. TCDD staff recommend soliciting new proposals to support two additional conferences consistent with the Council’s original intent. It is also recommended that a key criteria for this new solicitation be that the applicant organization have an existing, substantive involvement in the planning and coordination of the first conference held in August 2011. That involvement is central to the model of CTAAFSC that is managed by community advocates who volunteer their time. The hosting organization would be required to follow the model of the CTAAFSC closely and would be required to seek and support active involvement of: committee members involved in the 2011 Gulf Coast of Texas African American Family Support Conference; leaders of faith-based organizations; mental and physical health-care professionals (including researchers) who focus on health disparities experienced by African Americans; African American community organizations (such as sororities or fraternities); local businesses; provider organizations; and local civil justice advocates. Prior to grant award, the applicant organization(s) would be required to obtain an agreement from ATCIC confirming their willingness to continue to provide guidance and share information.
Proposed Funding Amount
$35,000 for year 1; $35,000 for year 2; $15,000 for year 3. The applicant organization will submit a proposal to outline how funds will be used. For example: Presenters fees, Venue costs, and other project-related costs.
TCDD funding would be offered for up to 3 years. TCDD would expect the conference to continue without TCDD funding after the initial 3 years.
Funding priority will be given to involved members (e.g., Project Advisory Committee and Ad Hoc Committee) who had direct experience with the 2011 Gulf Coast of Texas African American Family Support Conference. The hosting organization selected will show evidence of collaboration with committee members involved in the 2011 conference. The hosting organization must have presence within the geographic region and outline a plan to build capacity and sustainability after TCDD funds ends.