PEI Provider News Volume 7, Issue 21

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PEI Provider News
A PEI Newsletter Volume 7, Issue 21

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

COVID vaccine supply remains limited in Texas. Good news: supplies are going up each month. While the vaccine will help us to fight the spread of COVID, it's still vital to mask up and follow safety procedures. Visit the DSHS website for information about the vaccine that you can share with your community

Even after you get a dose of the vaccine, continue to wear face masks, practice social distancing and regular handwashing to slow the spread. 

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

Tell us how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting you.We want to hear your stories about how the ongoing pandemic is affecting you and your life.

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Special Grantee Training Event

Funds Maximization: What Is It? How Do We Do It?

Funds Maximization is vital and essential to serve Texas families well and for the success of our partnership. Join PEI’s Contracting and Program Teams to gain a better understanding of PEI’s overall Funds Maximization efforts. 

As a PEI grantee, managing your program’s budget is a priority in our ongoing efforts to maximize PEI dollars in each community.

This webinar will provide practical tips, tools, and ideas grantees can use when considering funds maximization work. Also, this webinar will help you understand the process PEI uses to review and evaluate budgeted line items and transfer requests. Together we can achieve more!

Special Instructions

PEI will host separate webinars to tailor content to specific programs.

Please attend the webinar specific to your grant:

February 23rd: 1:00 – 2:00 P.M. – Youth & Family Grantees (excluding FAYS program)

February 23rd: 2:30 – 3:30 P.M, – Early Childhood Grantees

February 25th: 1:00 – 2:00 P.M. – FAYS Grantees


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.

Home Visiting Safety

Date: Tuesday, February 2nd
Time: 10:00 A.M. - 11:00 AM CST (Register by Monday, February 1st at 10:00 A.M. CST)

What measures should you take to ensure your personal safety in your work with families? This webinar explores the importance of home visitor safety, how to identify safety risk factors, and appropriate actions to take based on various risk factors. This webinar complements the Basics of Home Visiting self-paced courses in the PEI Learning Hub.

Exploring Values and Beliefs Around Parenting (Webinar)

Date: Wednesday, February 10th
Time: 12:00 P.M. - 1:00 P.M. CST (Register by Tuesday, February 9th at 12:00 P.M. CST)

We all come to the table with our own beliefs about parenting. This webinar covers how to acknowledge and monitor those beliefs and address how they may impact the work we do with families. This webinar complements the Foundations of Infant Mental Health in Home Visiting self-paced course.

Connect with the PEI Learning Hub

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To take these courses: Type or paste the course names below 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

Building Engaging and Collaborative Relationships with Families (Self-Paced Course)

As a home visitor, building strong relationships that support each member of the family’s growth and development is essential to your job. Whether establishing a relationship between parent and child or home visitor and parent, the principles and best practices are the same. By establishing a long-term relationship with families, you can model ways to interact that parents can adopt with their children. This course offers practical ways you can relate to parents that will motivate them to stay engaged with you. Note: this learning experience qualifies for .3 IACET Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

Communicating - Connecting to Your People

We have all been inspired and motivated at some time in our lives through communication that touches not only our heads, but also our hearts and guts. We end up acting upon it. We change things for better and are inspired to newer and greater achievements. Making that impact with our communication means searching for and connecting to your people’s inner values and beliefs, their identity, and how and what makes them tick. This session provides the jewel in the crown of any powerful communication by addressing and practicing 3 techniques to win the heads, hearts, and guts of your audience.

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Promoting Adoption of Minority Children Quarterly Meeting

The DFPS Advisory Committee on Promoting Adoption of Minority Children (ACPAMC) will host a virtual quarterly meeting Thursday, February 4th at 3:00 P.M. CST. 

Please direct any questions to

Baby Day Celebration Feb. 7-13

Baby Day Logo

Register now for the third annual Baby Day summit. The event is a week-long virtual celebration, taking place entirely online from February 7th-13th.

The digital event will bring more than 100 partner-led activities centered around early learning child development, including infant & toddler yoga, music classes, dancing, curated art, storytime, and more.

Visit the Baby Day Registration Page for an agenda and registration details. 

TNOYS Call for Presenters

TNOYS Conference Headers

TNOYS’ 38th Annual Conference on Service to Youth and Families is scheduled to take place virtually June 8-11 and is seeking presenters to lead engaging workshops for  attendees.

Led by this year's theme Rooted in Power, the conference invites young people and services providers to dig deep into the unique strengths that ground them, and develop new skills to grow and thrive. 

TNOYS will review presenter applications on a rolling basis until February 12, 2021. Presenters will be entitled to conference registration discounts and registration will be free for all youth and young adult presenters. Visit the TNOYS website for more information

Working with Moms or Moms to Be? Your Feedback is Needed

Resources for Mothers Flyer

The Texas Collaborative for Healthy Mothers and Babies is field testing a reference sheet to empower frontline workers in assisting low-income, uninsured women in Texas who may qualify for the main public healthcare coverage programs (Medicaid for Pregnant Women, CHIP-Perinatal, HTW, and FPP).

Reference sheets are available in English and Spanish

Frontline workers are encouraged to participate in field testing of the reference sheet. To learn more, visit the testing page

Questions? Send an email to

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Get to Know: Leslie Sisson, Information Specialist with PEI

Get to know Leslie Sisson

What made you interested in your career?

I've been a champion for mental health awareness and reducing the stigma of mental illness as a writer and musician, using music as an outlet and forum to talk about it. I also used to teach music to kids. I grew up in a diverse family environment, filled with events that were sometimes wonderful and sometimes I knew I wanted to help people with similar experiences in my adult life. 

How long have you been at PEI?

I started working for PEI on August 17th, 2020, so it's over five months now! I'm immensely grateful to be here. I don't think I realized the skills I already had could contribute to the cause, so it's like the best of all the worlds coming together. I'm so happy to be here. I just love it.

What is your role at PEI? Give an example of your work or upcoming projects.

As part of the Communications Team, my time is spent writing, editing, designing newsletters, social media content, social media toolkits, and promoting our new website, (formerly Help and Hope). I'm currently working on a social media toolkit to promote building healthy relationships during Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month in February.

What do you like to do for fun?

In my spare time, I write, record, and play music. When things open back up in Texas and it's safe for everyone, I'm looking forward to playing live again. I also love walking and spending time with my three silly Chihuahuas named Hazy, Nutty, and Bobo (as seen in the photo). I sometimes go on bike rides with my neighbors and when time/safety permits, I head up to Dallas to see my dad and stepmom. In the warmer weather, I swim any chance I get. I'm pretty much a Chihuahua in human form... I don't love cold weather (thus, why I only lasted 10 years when I used to live in NYC).

How are you and your family managing current events?

The pups and I are handling it fine. They have no idea what's going on and are getting pretty used to me being around all the time. My immediate family are all in DFW. They are playing it safe so I try to go up and visit them or they come down to visit me when we deem it safe (I always get a COVID test before I go). I'm kind of a homebody by nature anyways, so it's not much different than what I was doing pre-pandemic, minus not playing live music!

Tell us about hobbies, pastimes, and lift up your family if you’d like.

My dad is also a musician so whenever I go up to visit him, we play music together. He loves it. I wish we lived closer so we could do it more. When we're not rocking out, we also play games and cards. It sounds very Golden Girls, but it's a lot of fun. When it's warmer, we hang out by the pool and grill. Being able to spend time with my family in DFW always lifts me up and resets me. In Austin, playing music grounds me. I've also been working on a puzzle since the pandemic began that I chip away at every day. It's taking forever and is, well, pretty puzzling, pun intended. Walking the dogs is my Zen time too, and I don't know what I would do in all of this without them. They are hilarious, sweet, and love their mama unconditionally, and vice versa. I tell myself out loud every day how lucky I am for them and everything, especially lately. Part of that is thanks to this job too, so thank you PEI!

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Funding Opportunity - Grants to Tribes, Tribal Organizations and Migrant Programs for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention Programs

The primary purpose of this funding opportunity announcement is to award grants to support community-based efforts in tribal and migrant communities that prevent child maltreatment and to strengthen and support families. Examples of programs that may be funded include voluntary home visiting, respite care, parenting education, family resource centers, and other family support services. It is anticipated that three grants will be funded under this announcement. The funding period will be for 5 years. The closing date for applications is April 20th. Click here to access the complete announcement.

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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