Mission and History
The North Texas Foster Care Consortium was formed in 2015 to promote collaboration and information sharing among the many stakeholders committed to the well-being of children in the child welfare system.
With a growing and diverse membership, the Consortium facilitates productive partnerships and sponsors informative programming, drawing on the resources of integrated health care and other service providers, child advocates, policy groups, child placing agencies, education liaisons, foster parents, court personnel, single source continuum contractors, and Texas Department of Family and Protective Services leadership.
The original steering committee, with representatives from Dallas CASA, DFPS, Our Community Our Kids, and the Rees-Jones Center for Foster Care Excellence, has evolved into a board-led organization with a well-defined committee structure.
Several of the Consortium’s original board members also served on the Community-Based Care (CBC) Readiness Steering Committee for DFPS Regions 3W (non-CBC) and 3E, which provided valuable input to the preparers of the North Texas Community-Based Care Environmental Assessment (March 2021).
As CBC continues to roll out across Texas, the Consortium envisions making significant contributions toward its success in North Texas.
Who We Serve
The Consortium, by way of its organizational members, serves the children and communities in the 19 North Texas counties designated by the Department of Family and Protective Services as Region 3. These counties and the number of the child populations are shown in the map below:
Our Membership and Committees
The Consortium’s members are organizations that directly or indirectly serve the needs of foster children in the North Texas Region. See a list of our current members: Current Member List.
Each member organization participates in one of five standing committees, lending their voice to affecting changes where needed.
A Board of Directors oversees the Consortium. Currently, the Board has ten members.
The current committees of the North Texas Foster Care Consortium are:
1. Networking and Collaboration– This committee will create and encourage networking and collaboration opportunities for Consortium members related to the area of focus.
2. Advocacy– This committee will identify opportunities for advocacy at the local, state and national levels relevant to the area of focus.
3. Education and Training– This committee will organize education and training activities for Consortium members centered on the designated area of focus.
4. Data and Outcomes- This committee will identify data sources that can help improve decision-making related to the area of focus, and when necessary, work with organizations within the Consortium or at the state-level to gather relevant data to promote positive outcomes.
5. Kinship Care Advisory – An ad hoc committee which helps with resource-sharing, need identification, and determination of initiatives undertaken by the Consortium related to kinship care.
Board of Directors
- Jill McLeigh, Board Chair
Rees-Jones Center for Foster Care Excellence, Children’s Health
- Chad Frymire, Networking and Collaboration Committee Chair
- Kerrie Judice, Advocacy Committee Chair
- Shellie Velasco, Education and Training Committe Chair, Rees-Jones Foundation
- Courtney Leaverton, Kinship Care Advisory Committe Chair
Our Community Our Kids
- Kathleen LaValle, At-Large member
- Robin van der Merwe, At-Large Member
Adoptive/Foster Parent, The Connect First Initiative
- Andi Harrison , At-Large Member, Buckner International
- Jailynn Smiley, At-Large Member, CK Family Services
- John Echavarria, At-Large Member, Pathways Youth and Family Services