The Forgotten Families: A Needs Assessment on Children with Incarcerated Parents

Seven percent of children in Harris County have a parent in the Harris County Jail each year and the majority of these children are not receiving needed services despite the trauma, parental separation, and financial hardship that often accompanies parental incarceration.  In collaboration with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and the University of Texas Medical Branch we conducted a needs assessment to better understand the needs of children with incarcerated parents in our community.  The needs assessment included a literature review, interviews with inmates at the Harris County Jail, interviews with caregivers of children with incarcerated parents, and analysis of Harris County Jail data. 

This report provides an overview of our findings and recommendations on how our community can better support the 92,000+ children in our county that have a parent in the Harris County Jail each year. 

Food Insecurity Screening in Houston and Harris County: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals

Food insecurity impacts millions of Americans each year. It occurs when households do not have reliable access to nutritionally adequate or safe foods.

There are an estimated 724,750 food insecure individuals in Harris County with a food insecurity rate of 16.6%. Among children, the rate of food insecurity is 23.6%. Food insecurity can have significant negative implications on a person’s health, including higher rates of chronic diseases and mental health problems.

This report provides healthcare providers with information on how to integrate food insecurity screening into their practice and how to respond to a positive screen, including a list of local resources. The report also highlights the need for more research on food insecurity screening and interventions and how to most effectively reduce rates of food insecurity and improve patient outcomes. 

An Assessment of Screening for Intimate Partner Violence 

Intimate partner violence is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over someone through fear and intimidation and may include physical, sexual, emotional, or financial abuse. Survivors of intimate partner violence access healthcare at greater rates than the general public and it is recommended that healthcare providers screen for intimate partner violence. This report provides an overview on screening for intimate partner violence, including perspectives from survivors, and recommendations on how healthcare providers can improve screening for intimate partner violence.