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Date: 02.22.18
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Welcome to Denton County Federation of Families!

Denton County Federation of Families is a family to family support and advocacy organization that has served families raising children with mental health needs for 15 years. We advocate for the educational needs of children and youth, provide local and state level advocacy for best practices, and led efforts to create a local Systems of Care and to bring wraparound to our community. We have supported local families with a particular focus on their strengths.

We are contracting with the Texas Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health to support local children and families with their needs around advocacy. Patti Derr is a nationally renowned advocate and will help with IDEA advocacy, training, participation in collaborative work with other organizations and agencies in Denton, and other advocacy needs. Her phone number is 512-944-9972 and her email is ffcmhtexas@gmail.com should you need her help.

Currently, we are referring families to NAMI Denton for regular family to family support groups. Here is a link to their regularly scheduled groups in Denton County http://www.namidenton.org/PDF/WeeklyReminders.pdf 

Some resources to share:

  • The YES Waiver is in Denton! It provides wraparound for ANY child at risk of out of home placement - WOW! It started July 2015 for children/youth who have Medicaid coverage and June 2016 for any child with that level of need! Once approved, the youth recieves Medicaid funding for wraparound (based on the child's income not the family's)
  • There are a couple of online resource websites to share:

Friday, July 29 2016, DCFF and TWU School of Occupational Therapy students partnered to bring back the Family Fun Day! 

2015 Children's Mental Health Week Activities!

May 5 there were two proclamations: at The County Commissioner's Court & in the City Council Chambers!

May 7 was Children's Mental Health Day and there are events all over the country! In Denton there there are a series of activities all day:

  • WATCH Wellness Workshop at Cumberland Presbyterian Children's Home - Patti Derr, executive director of Texas Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health presentied on facilitating family voice and choice, and meaningful family and youth engagement!


  • 1:30 Walk a Mile in Our Shoes was a walk around the square for children's mental health awareness
  • Texas Talks Back Town Hall Meeting 


NATIONAL FAMILY COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE! Join family leaders from across the country as we come together and seek to sustain family to family organizations across populations. We are building a web space at 
http://www.sharedwork.org/web/family-school-and-community-collaboration/home and getting together for monthly conference calls. 

LEGISLATION TO WATCH: There is some press for mental health reform, but unfortunately there is legislation out there that may hurt kids and families. From 2014 see North Carolina Families United review of HR 3717, also known as the "Murphy Bill". The Murphy Bill calls itself the ‘‘Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2013’’ but it reinforces stigma, attempts to shift systems back to a strictly medical model, reducing support for community recovery supports for adults and failing to give much attention to the needs of children and youth at all; and it reduces funding for family to family supports, and continues to slash and burn technical assistance. 

The original Murphy bill expired at the end of the 2014 session. Murphy has recreated another bill entitled Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015 (HR 2646) that does have some changes but still seeks to go back decades to increased reliance on a medical model. It funds this by decreasing support for community based programs. See the editorial by Scott Comstock of the Children's Mental Health Network http://www.cmhnetwork.org/media-center/morning-zen/the-murphy-bill-fails-its-own-home-inspection

Quantiative data from the Denton Texas Conversation survey for the Creating Community Solutions initiative is up at http://creatingcommunitysolutions.org/node/560  It is organized around 10 "Did you know" statements meant to inform residents about local issues and best practices, as well as collect their thoughts. The sources are the United Way of Denton County 2013 Mental Health report and the 10 Principles of Wraparound

Creating Community Solutions

The Denton Creating Community Solutions Mental Health survey was the third part of the National Creating Community Solutions Conversations series for Denton County. It closed November 22, 2013 and we are working on processing the qualitative data. Results will be posted at the Denton Texas Conversation page. Preliminary results with just the quantitative data are up at http://creatingcommunitysolutions.org/node/560 but these will not be complete until the rest of the data is processed.

The second event was the Touched by Suicide Walk in Bartonville on November 2, 2013! We continued the conversation onsite. This time the resource fair included United Way of Denton County, Denton County MHMR, School of Occupational Therapy at Texas Woman's University (students brought a memorial activity for children and adults), Denton County Federation of Families,Youth & Family Counseling, Gooden Counseling, and NAMI!

The first event was the Denton County MHMR Fun Run on Sept 14th where we piloted the first 6 survey questions in the conversation. We had a resource fair with DCFF, Cook Children's hospital, Denton Community Health Clinic, Touched by Suicide, DCMHMR, UBH, United Way of Denton County, Youth and Family Counseling, and NAMI all had booths!


Follow this link to get more information on the

Affordable Care Act!

Over the first half of 2013, family leaders from across the country (including Texas and even Denton) have been working together to try to balance the overemphasis on "a pill and a cell" in lieu of increasing effective mental health responses secondary to the outcry following the Sandy Hook shootings. Here is the
introduction to the series. Our initial letter to the president is posted on the Children's Mental Health Network website.We have completed three follow up documents on supports at each of the three tiers discussed in the letter: 

  • To support all children's healthy development, the first document describes universal supports 
  • The second tier document describes effective strategies to help children who are at risk of developing significant mental health needs
  • The third tier document describes the best practices to enable resiliency in children with significant mental health needs and their families

Walk a Mile in Our Shoes  
  Children's Mental Health Day 2013 


We brought our shoes to the square in Denton on May 9th and took the images to our congresspersons in Washington as part of AACAP's Advocacy Day on May 10th.


New Links:

We are supporting FYI2 which is a repository for family driven training and education. It is under development but we hope it grows into a vibrant resource that you can use to connect to resources developed by and for families. Check it out at www.fyi2.org
The CDC has released it's first ever report on the mental health of children.



Mental Health Surveillance Among Children 2005-2011.

Other links and Info!


Information on the IDEA community of practice website,



The SharedWork.org website is a project of the IDEA Partnership and the Center for School Mental Health Analysis and Action (CSMHA) that is intended to enable the exchange of information and the ability to pursue a shared agenda.


It provides a space for the National Community on School-Based Mental Health to work together and build their community. Through the website, there will be a listserv mechanism that will offer opportunities for public communication, community announcements, summaries of practice group work, and requests for comments.


The website will assist Practice Groups with achieving their goals including: defining critical issues, creating a repository of key online documents, constructing quarterly probes through the listserv with a loop back to the website and the practice group, using the probes to define new shared work, defining and developing a conference strand for the CSMHA’s 11th Annual Conference on School Based Mental Health, and creating at least one tool for the field that is collaboratively developed. Communities of Practice are created when partner organizations collaborate with States, districts, local sites and individuals. These Communities of Practice are focused on advancing policy and practice.


The members learn from one another and take action together in coordinated ways. There are several communities on the shared work site... when you get on the site, click on the National Community of Practice on Collaborative School Behavioral Health and log in.