PEI Provider News Volume 7, Issue 25

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

PEI Provider News
A PEI Newsletter Volume 7, Issue 25

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:

Blue Divider

Severe Winter Weather Assistance

The President approved a Major Disaster Declaration for Individual Assistance in 77 counties and for Public Assistance (Emergency Protective Measures Only) in all 254 counties and FEMA has opened assistance for those who were impacted by the winter severe weather Survivors who have underinsured or uninsured losses. Individuals and business owners in who sustained losses in the designated areas can apply for assistance by registering online at or by calling 1-800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585).

Businesses and individuals are also encouraged to fill out the Self Reporting Damage Survey by visiting Reporting damage to the Texas Division of Emergency Management is a voluntary activity, is not a substitute for reporting damage to an insurance agency, and does not guarantee disaster relief assistance.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients in Texas may apply for replacement benefits for food lost or destroyed by dialing 2-1-1. Local resources and volunteers may be able to assist with needs not covered by insurance. SNAP recipients may also use their food benefits to purchase hot foods and ready-to-eat meals due to impacts from the severe winter storm. Visit Texas 211 for a list of resources searchable by zip code or call 2-1-1. Cash donations to the non-profit of your choice is the best way to help. To find a list of trusted organizations that can put your generous contributions to the best possible use, visit National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.

Be aware of possible SNAP scam alerts. Texans have reported fraudulent phone calls claiming to replace SNAP benefits lost during Winter Storm Uri and requesting social security numbers. Don't share your personal information. For details on SNAP benefit replacements go HHS Disaster Assistance.

Call Center Assists Texans With Individual Assistance Reporting Tool

The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM), with the assistance of the Texas Military Department, launched a call center to assist Texans, who have limited or no internet access, with completing the State of Texas Assessment Tool (iSTAT). Texans can call 844-844-3089 seven days a week to submit their disaster damage information. This call center is specifically for Texans who are unable to submit information through the online iSTAT tool. 

If needed, a state emergency management professional will visit impacted homes to collect photos and documentation of damage for the validation process. 

Texans are urged to fill out the iSTAT, either online or over the phone if internet access is limited, to help the state identify damages across Texas and help emergency management officials gain an understanding of damages that occurred during the recent severe winter weather event. This data is also needed to provide information to FEMA and highlight the need for federal disaster assistance for individuals.

Visit to fill out the iSTAT.

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.

Texas COVID-19 Rent Relief Program. Beginning February 15th, applicants can submit their application by calling 1-833-9TX-RENT (1-833-989-7368) or submitting it online at 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.

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.

Blue DividerSocials Icons now on Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook

PEI's parenting support website launched this year and is now making its debut on social media. Visit on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to find messaging and resources for families of kinds. 

Blue Divider

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

If you haven't registered, please attend the webinar specific to your grant. All attendees previously registered should have received an email from GoToWebinar with the updated date and times, and will not need to re-register.

Rescheduled PEI Trainings

The March 9th training, Tracking Surveys and Other Tasks in PEIRS, has been rescheduled to April 27th. Mark your calendars!

Blue Divider

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: 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.

Achieve OnDemand: Understanding Substance Abuse through the Family Lens (Webinar)

Date: Wednesday, March 10th 
Time: 10:00 A.M. - 11:00 A.M. CST
Register by Tuesday, March 9th, 10:00 A.M. CST

As a home visitor, how do you intentionally respond to situations where substance abuse is present in the families you support? This webinar discusses ways to recognize a family's values and strengths which can help guide you approach when working with a family impacted by substance abuse. We will also explore how substance abuse affects family dynamics. This webinar complements Challenges in Home Visiting: Substance Abuse self-paced course.

Connect with the PEI Learning Hub

Lightbulb image

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

Challenges in Home Visiting: Substance Abuse (Self-Paced Course)

Substance abuse and addiction are prevalent, often reoccurring issues in home visiting.  Addiction can interrupt a parent's personal growth and interfere with their ability to fully engage with their child. This course will strengthen both new and experienced home visitors’ knowledge and ability to recognize signs of substance use and explore ways to address concerns with a parent in the context of their role as home visitor. Topics include the impact of substance use on family systems, parenting, child development and safety issues encountered in home visiting.

This Achieve OnDemand learning experience qualifies for .3 IACET Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

Management: Build a Team, Not a Group of Individuals

Jack Kaplan details the key features of the management section of a business plan and explains why you should focus more on the team than on individuals.

Blue Divider

ODPC Free Virtual Conference in March

In honor of National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in March, the Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Disability Prevention for Children will offer a FREE conference to learn and discuss strategies for implementing change and preventing developmental disabilities in children.

Each Tuesday beginning March 9th, the HHS Office of Disability Prevention for Children will host a Statewide Virtual Conference featuring a series of webinars to highlight key topics on preventing intellectual and developmental disabilities in children. The four virtual sessions are described below; click on the respective link to register for that session.

For special accommodations, please email a request to the Office of Disability Prevention for Children at by March 1, 2021.

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

Blue Divider

DFPS Completes Email Address Changes

DFPS has completed the process of changing all of its email addresses, which now end with instead of

If you have email addresses for DFPS employees in your addresses book or contacts list, please update them with the suffix if you have not already done so. The first part of each email address remains the same. 

For example: becomes  

Taking this step will ensure there will be no disruption in your communications with DFPS when email forwarding comes to an end in December of 2022.

Blue Divider

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.

Blue Divider

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.

Blue Divider

Share Your Work!

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