Houston Commission Awarded Grant to Develop Child & Family Mental Health Plan
March 1, 2007
The Hogg Foundation has awarded a grant of $99,970 to the Houston Joint City/County Commission on Children (JCCCC) to spearhead the development of a comprehensive, long-range plan to address the mental health needs of children and their families in Houston and Harris County.
"The Commissioners Court and I truly appreciate the grant awarded to the Joint City/County Commission on Children in Houston by the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health," said Harris County Judge Robert Eckels, whose office will administer the grant.
"This grant will allow us to bring together members of the public, private, and nonprofit organizations to discuss what works and what does not work in the delivery of mental health services to our children," said Judge Eckels. "By working together, we can do so much more than any of us can do on our own."
JCCCC will use the grant to assess the community's needs and resources and to partner with stakeholders to map strategies for providing effective prevention and treatment for the area's children, an estimated 186,000 of whom have mental health problems.
"Each year, the foundation has approximately $1.5 million available to distribute from the Ima Hogg Endowment, which must be used in support of child and family services in Harris County," said Hogg Foundation Executive Director King Davis. "We are hopeful that the Joint City/County Commission's work will highlight investment opportunities worthy of Miss Ima's strong commitment to Harris County children's mental health."
JCCCC's work will be completed in several stages over the remainder of 2007. The project team will begin with a comprehensive assessment of the community's needs and resources, including existing mental health initiatives and data collection efforts. The assessment will reveal critical information gaps to be filled.
These activities will be complemented by a series of in-depth focus groups with Harris County's consumers, family members, mental health professionals, and allied professionals. JCCCC will hire liaisons representative of the county's diverse communities to conduct the groups.
"The focus groups will be critical in assessing the needs of Harris County children of diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds and those with different types and severities of mental health problems," said Debbie Berndt, the foundation's program officer for the grant. "Ultimately, the plan will be comprehensive and useful to the extent that it reflects all of these voices."
After completing the needs assessment and focus groups, JCCCC will convene a work group of area stakeholders to formulate a plan for moving children's mental health forward in Houston and Harris County.
JCCCC will collaborate on the plan's development with consumers, family members, mental health professionals, and other key community members. Particularly promising is JCCCC's emphasis on enlisting the support and participation of a comprehensive range of stakeholders, including organizations not usually at the table.
To be completed by the end of 2007, the plan resulting from the work group's efforts will be disseminated throughout the Harris County area to rally and strengthen its support.
JCCCC will also work with business and civic groups in the area, in hopes of fostering future funding partnerships.