PEI Provider News Volume 7, Issue 23

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PEI Provider News
A PEI Newsletter Volume 7, Issue 23

Happy Valentine's Day from PEI!

After enduring a year unlike any other in modern history, we want you to know that we are grateful for your partnership, dedication to the families in your community, and for continuously striving to make your communities a safe, supportive place where children and families can thrive. Because of your partnership we were able to support almost 60,000 children, youth, and families across the State of Texas during a pandemic.

From our PEI family to yours, we wish you a happy Valentine’s Day.

Stay Warm and Stay Safe,

the PEI Division

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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

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.

Texas COVID-19 Rent Relief Program

Governor Greg Abbott announced that the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) has launched the Texas Rent Relief Program — the first statewide rent and utility assistance program for qualifying households throughout Texas.

To qualify, households must be at or below 80% of the area median income as well as meet other criteria. Per federal guidelines, TDHCA will prioritize applications for households at or below 50% of the area median income level and households where one or more members are currently unemployed and have been for at least 90 days. Landlords are encouraged to apply on behalf of tenants, who must co-sign the application.

Beginning February 15th, applicants can submit their application by calling 1-833-9TX-RENT (1-833-989-7368) or submitting it online at The call center will be open Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

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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

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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.

Promoting Effective Parenting with Motivational Interviewing (Webinar)

Date: Thursday, February 18th
Time: 12:00 P.M. - 1:00 P.M. CST
Register by Wednesday, February 17th, 12:00 P.M. CST

Motivational interviewing is a collaborative, person-centered form of guiding to elicit and strengthen motivation for change. This webinar identifies the fundamental elements of motivational interviewing and explores strategies for using motivational interviewing in home visiting. This webinar complements the Basics of Home Visiting self-paced course.

Achieve OnDemand: Home Visiting Boundaries (Webinar)

Date: Wednesday, March 3rd
Time: 12:00 P.M. - 1:00 P.M. CST
Register by Tuesday, March 2nd, 12:00 P.M. CST

As a home visitor, how does setting and maintaining boundaries with the families you support enhance your work with them? In this webinar we will discuss various situations that call for establishing boundaries, strategies for establishing supportive boundaries with families, and the role of reflective supervision in setting and maintaining boundaries. This webinar complements the Basics of 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

Working For Kids- FirstPathways

This webinar first reviews the lessons learned in the Working For Kids Master Coach training about when different areas of the brain are “plastic” and very sensitive to the activities a child is participating in. The First Pathways Game is freely available for everyone and was designed by Working For Kids to provide fun, engaging games for children & adults to play together that will strengthen brain pathways when they are plastic. The overall goal of this webinar is to provide you with training on using the First Pathways Game so you feel comfortable introducing it to the families you work with and can explain why playing the game strengthens children’s brain development.

Stress Less - Well-Being for Work and Life

Take control of the work pressures you face, control negative thought patterns, make the most positive experiences.

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Additional Training Opportunities

Texas as a Window into National Trends in Early Childhood Education

Date: Tuesday, February 16th
Time: 12:00 P.M. - 1:00 P.M. CST

The webinar, features Dr. Robert Crosnoe, University of Texas at Austin Department of Sociology & Population Research Center, and the author of "The Starting Line: Latina/o Children, Texas Schools, and National Debates in Early Education" as he discusses his research on nine schools in Texas that delves into the opportunities and challenges of providing quality early education to low-income communities in the state and speaks to broader discussions about the future of early childhood education during a time of great social and demographic change in the United States. Certificates will be provided through the Texas Early Childhood Professional Development System (TECPDS) for all attendees, delivered to your email address after the conclusion of the webinar. Learn more at:

Creating a Data-driven, Problem-Solving Approach to Family Engagement Through a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS)

Date: Wednesday, February 24th
Time: 2:00 P.M. - 3:30 P.M. CST

Every family is unique, and yet family engagement is often approached with a one-size-fits-all approach. A Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) offers an alternative, data-driven, and problem-solving approach to family engagement by helping teachers and administrators adapt to the contexts, needs, and preferences of every family in the school so that all families are engaged in their children's education.

In this webinar, participants will learn how to use a new tool, developed by two experts in the field, to plan for multi-tiered systems of support for family engagement in their school or district.

SAVE THE DATE: 2021 Texas Brain Injury Conference and Webinar Series

In recognition of Brain Injury Awareness Month in March, the Texas Brain Injury Programs at the Health and Human Services Commission will offer a FREE virtual 2021 Texas Brain Conference and Webinar Series. The theme is "Bridging Silos: Connecting Systems of Care with a Person-Centered Approach." Click on the respective link to register for each session.

Each Wednesday in March from 12:00-1:00 p.m. Central time, the Texas Brain Injury Webinar Series will feature the following topics:

In addition, the Texas Brain Injury Conference will feature brain injury-related topics:

State and national experts share will information on brain injury, person-centered planning and bridging silos for attendees. All activities will be free and open to the public. Continuing education credit for multiple disciplines will be provided for these events.

If you need an accommodation or additional information, please contact the Office of Acquired Brain Injury at

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Black History Month

28 Black History Month Resources for Kids of All Ages

If you’re looking for resources to help your child learn about Black History, check out Red Tricycle's resources for kids of all ages. Whether your school Black History curriculum is lacking or you have a kid who just can’t get enough, this list is of vetted and reliable websites for lessons, activities, reading and videos for Black History Month.


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The Resilience Breakthrough Podcast

Episode 020: Finding Resilience in Rural Kentucky

Whitley County is one of the most scenic areas in the United States. But the students there face a challenging dilemma. How do they value and hold to their identity and their roots, while sprouting their wings and letting their lives take flight?

Listen Now


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How to Read an Encrypted Email from DFPS

When you get a secure email from a DFPS employee, follow these steps to verify your email address so you can read encrypted emails from DFPS.

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Nutrition Environment and Services

School Breakfast Week March 8-12, 2021

The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) has created many no-cost materials to help encourage students to Blast Off with a Healthy School Breakfast during School Breakfast Week (SBW) 2021! Materials include cafeteria posters, participation charts, floor decals, meal stickers, wearable buttons for staff, and much more! For more information about SBW, visit TDA’s website

Program Helps Young People Quit Vaping

Do you know a teen who wants to quit vaping? Tell them about This Is Quitting, a program from the Truth Initiative. Teens and young adults can join for free by texting DITCHVAPE to 88709. Message and data rates may apply. Read more about this free mobile program.

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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