PEI Provider News Volume 7, Issue 17

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PEI Provider News
A PEI Newsletter Volume 7, Issue 17

Happy New Year

Happy 2021, providers and welcome to the new year!

Over the holiday season I hope you found time to relax, safely spend time with family and friends, and have begun 2021 with hope in your hearts and eyes to the future.

2020 was full of unprecedented events and presented various hardships to Texas families and communities, but it was also a year where prevention was critical. Each of you stepped forward with resourcefulness, ingenuity, and courage to help families across Texas survive and thrive. Because of you, PEI programs have maintained a high level of engagement, learned some great lessons about using telehealth to reach families, but most of all you supported thousands of families when they needed you the most. As frontline support for families and leaders in your community you are a crucial piece of the puzzle in ensuring families have the resources and supports they need and I want to start 2021 with a resounding thank you. 2020 was a challenging year, and together we made it through.

Together we will face 2021 united, looking towards a horizon where we can stand together in the same room, finding ways to mix time-honored interventions with innovative ideas tailored to the communities we serve. The new year always gives opportunity for fresh starts and I’m glad we’re starting the new year together.


Sasha SIg




Sasha Rasco,
Associate Commissioner
Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) Division
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

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Welcome to PEI Provider News! Our weekly e-newsletter to providers combines provider resources, stories of interest, exclusive educational opportunities and grant information. In this issue:

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Coronavirus Resources

Help and Hope COVID-19 resource page: Visit to find updated resources for providers and the general public.

Coronavirus Resources for PEI ProvidersInformation on the COVID-19 virus for providers.

COVID-19 Planning & Response for Homeless Assistance Providers: HUD's Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPS) invites homeless assistance providers and their partners to participate in an Office Hours session on January 8th at 2:30 PM to discuss COVID-19 planning and response. Presenters from the following federal agencies and their partners will be available for a live question and answer session:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
  • National Healthcare for the Homeless Council (HCH)
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Resilience Breakthrough Podcast: Putting People First

How can we continue the conversations about race and equity in a forward-thinking, resilient manner in ourselves, the people we support, and the communities we work in? Join Dave Biesinger and Dr. Damien Sweeny, Program Coordinator for School Counseling at the Kentucky Department of Education as they explore tools on how to build bridges, acknowledge differences, and create a new approach to working in the social support community

Listen to the Episode

Resilience Breakthrough Podcast: How to Get Along with Anyone

Miranda Beard, past president of the National School Boards Association and news anchor discusses how to see past differences, get all the good ideas at the table, and move our country forward. 

Listen to the Episode


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Remembering Damon Bowden

Damon Bowden

Prevention and Early Intervention staff are saddened to hear of the passing of Damon Bowden with Buckner Beaumont. Damon's generosity of spirit, kindness and dedication where he served and supported his community will continue to inspire. The following are a few words from PEI staff who worked with Damon over the years:

"Damon was so kind, humble and always proud to share about the Buckner FAYS program, he really cared deeply for the families in FAYS and was thoughtful in finding new ways to make a difference in their lives.  He truly made an impact and a lasting impression with us at PEI, his fellow FAYS colleagues across the state and his community. We will miss him." — Anjulie Chaubal, PEI Division Administrator for Youth and Family Programs

"Damon was a remarkable man, a real team player. He always was positive and thoughtful towards others. Damon’s contribution and leadership will not be forgotten, and he will be sorely missed. It was truly an honor to work with Damon over the years. Our deepest sympathies and our most heartfelt condolences to the Bowden family and the Buckner Southeast team." — Nicole Fiedler, PEI Youth and Family Program Specialist

"I’ve talked with Damon several times over the years and particularly remember him when Buckner Beaumont hosted us and former Commissioner Hank Whitman for our Spring Listening Tour a few years ago. He was so kind and helpful. I know this is a loss for PEI and for the Buckner family." — Sasha Rasco, Associate Commissioner, PEI

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Training Tuesdays with PEI

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Join us from 2:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M. CST every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month as we explore current, relevant topics based on state trends, featuring PEI speakers and guest experts.

Jan 12: Prevention and Early Intervention Online Resources; A Virtual Tour

In the digital age, human attention span has shrunk to 8 seconds, one second less than a goldfish. This two-part presentation will feature an exploration of what makes messaging effective and how to connect to your community members where they work, live and play. We'll also host a virtual tour of the new family support website.

The Essentials of Home Visiting

Essentials Home Visiting

Visit the Essentials of Home Visiting portal to register for and attend webinars at a cost of $25.00 per webinar session.

Achieve OnDemand: Domestic Violence: Safety Planning (Webinar)

Date: Tuesday, January 12th
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CST (register by January 11th at 12:00 PM CST)

As a home visitor, how can you support families impacted by domestic violence to develop a safety plan? This webinar discusses developing a working knowledge of community resources and collaborating with formal and informal institutions to support families using a strength-based, family-centered approach. This webinar complements the Domestic Violence in Home Visiting self-paced course (linked below).

Achieve OnDemand: Trauma in Families and Communities (Webinar)

Date: Wednesday, January 13th
Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM CST (register by January 12th at 10:00 AM CST)

As a home visitor, how can you support yourself and the families you work with in an intentional and trauma-informed manner? This webinar identifies common missteps in working with families impacted by trauma. We will examine different strategies you can employ to support your families who are experiencing trauma. This webinar complements the Impact of Trauma in Home Visiting self-paced course in the PEI Learning Hub.

Achieve OnDemand: Being Present with Families (Webinar)

Date: Thursday, January 21st
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CST (register by January 20th at 12:00 PM CST)

How do our personal values and experiences impact the work we do? The qualities of being nonjudgmental, present and an active listener will be covered as well as some potential barriers to active listening. This webinar complements the Basics of Home Visiting self-paced course.

Connect with the PEI Learning Hub

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Achieve OnDemand: Domestic Violence in Home Visiting (Self-Paced Course)

Domestic violence is a prevalent and recurring issue in home visiting. In this course, you will build your confidence to address domestic violence while working with families as their home visitor. Topics include the impact of violence on family systems, parenting, and child development. Common scenarios and strategies are presented for talking with parents about keeping themselves and their children safe.

Full completion of this Achieve OnDemand learning experience qualifies for .3 IACET Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

Documentation Best Practice for Service Providers

PEI's early childhood team review best practice in service documentation along with the principles and ethics of effective documentation. High quality documentation will help support provider’s professional work and ensure high quality intervention services.

To take these courses: Type or paste the course names above into the search bar on the PEI Learning Hub:

  1. Click on the course and select “request”
  2. On your transcript select “launch” to begin
  3. When the video is complete, go to "completed" courses in your transcript
  4. Select "evaluate" to provide feedback

For questions, contact

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Funding Opportunity: PEI Request for Applications

The Prevention and Early Intervention Division seeks applications to develop and implement:

All requests, questions or other communication about this RFA shall be made in writing to: 

Jennifer Kim, CTCD, CTCM
Health and Human Services Commission
1100 West 49th Street;
Mail Code 2020
Building S Austin, TX 78756

All communications between Applicants and DFPS staff members concerning the RFA are strictly prohibited, unless noted elsewhere in this RFA. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in disqualification of Applicant's Grant Application. 

Funding Opportunity: Texas Prenatal to Three Collaborative Mini Grant Application

The Texas Prenatal to Three (PN- 3) Collaborative seeks to award up to six mini-grants to city, county, or regional-level organizations that are interested in focusing on building increased support for healthy beginnings, supported families, and quality early care and learning for infants and toddlers. The mini grant application can be found at the following link and proposals are due by February 1, 2021.

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Research Corner

On the Front Lines of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Occupational Experiences of the Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Assault Workforce

In the face of increasing risk for intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual
assault during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an urgent need to understand
the experiences of the workforce providing support to survivors. This journal article outlines the results of an online survey of members of the IPV and sexual assault workforce about managing work and challenges during the pandemic.

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State Child Fatality Review Team Committee

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is currently accepting applications for membership on the State Child Fatality Review Team (SCFRT) Committee for the following positions:

  • Child Protective Services Specialist
  • Medical Examiner
  • Pediatrician experience in diagnosing and treating child abuse/neglect
  • Child abuse prevention specialist
  • Child educator
  • Representative of the Department of Public Safety
  • Police Chief
  • Sheriff
  • Emergency Medical Services Provider
  • Neonatologist
  • Chief Juvenile Probation Officer

Permanent members of the SCFRT Committee will appoint members to the SCFRT Committee to serve a term of three years. Applications are due by 11:59 p.m., January 15, 2021. 

To learn more about the SCFRT Committee, please visit the DSHS Texas Child Fatality Review website or email

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2021 Prevention Calendars Now Available

Parenting Calendar 2021 Covers

This free family resource is filled with helpful tips for parents and caregivers of children of all ages. It’s available in English and Spanish, and endorsed
by The Texas Pediatric Society.

Order while supplies last! Calendars are shipped for free and in quantities of 100 calendars per box. Questions? Contact us.

Order 2021 Calendars

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Share Your Work!

If you have any events or news that you would like to share in the next e-newsletter please email