We Are Here to Help: HHSC Blind Children’s Program Updates
Authors: Lauren Cox, Blind Children’s Program Manager
Keywords: Health and Human Services Commission, Blind Children’s Program, independence, futures planning, financial supports, guardianship, family service plan, Blind Children’s Specialists, Person-Centered Planning, Arc of Texas
Health and Human Services Commission, Blind Children’s Program, independence, futures planning, financial supports, guardianship, family service plan, Blind Children’s Specialists, Person-Centered Planning, Arc of Texas
The Blind Children’s Program (BCP) provides services to children who are blind or visually impaired and their families. Our holistic approach ensures that we address all aspects of a child’s development in order to foster their individual goals for independence, whatever that looks like for the child. We help children accomplish their goals through direct skills training, parent education, and case management. With BCP, there is a team to support the family and the child. A blind children’s service specialist is there every step of the way—completing the intake process, determining eligibility, and guiding every aspect of the child’s service and steps towards independence. Blind Children’s Specialists understand the impact that a disability can have on a child’s development. In partnership with the family, they assess the child’s needs in order to develop a family service plan. Our BCP team is always there to support the entire family, and we are dedicated to every child’s success.
Transitioning Back from the Pandemic
As you may be aware, BCP stopped in-home visits in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 global health pandemic. Now that things are returning to normal, BCP is transitioning as well. Beginning in September 2021, children began receiving BCP services and their families have the flexibility to select their service model and receive services either in person or virtually. This will allow the program to be sensitive to the concerns and changes that families are experiencing as we adjust to a return to normalcy. The quality of services will not change, and the program remains committed to providing services that meet each child’s long-term goals. We understand the complexities of everyday life and want to simplify access to BCP services and support the child’s path to success. If that means meeting in person, over the phone, or through a video call, we are here.
Futures Planning Returns
We are excited to continue our Futures Planning series for parents of children over the age of 14. Our five-part series, facilitated by the Arc of Texas, provides parents the opportunity to plan for their child’s future through the use of Person-Centered Planning to address needs in the areas of community, financial support, and understanding of guardianship issues. In the first year, 150 families went through at least one session. We are excited to continue offering this series for a second year. If you are interested in more information, please contact your Blind Children’s Specialist.
If you have questions about the program, would like to apply, or have concerns, please reach out to one of the members of our leadership team: Kathalene Gale (firstname.lastname@example.org), Cassondra Glausier (email@example.com), or myself, Lauren Cox (firstname.lastname@example.org). Our program email box, email@example.com, is also available for general inquiries and questions.
We appreciate the opportunity to share about BCP and look forward to continuing to support children who are blind or visually impaired and their families on their journey towards a full life.