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Youth Voice & Normalcy

Engaging in normal, age-appropriate activities and experiences is a critical component of healthy child development. However, experiencing abuse or neglect and being removed from a family to foster care is not “normal.” Although foster care may be safer for a child or youth, cultivating normal childhood experiences while in foster care is a challenge. Providing normalcy in foster care includes managing risk, giving children the opportunity to act like children, and encouraging the development of a child’s interests and strengths. Normalcy is just one of many considerations for children in care. It is important that normalcy is viewed through a holistic lens, in tandem with education, medical, mental health, and other considerations.

Please visit the sections below for more information about current projects or visit the Reports & Resources page for recent publications.

The Children’s Commission held a Round Table in January 2019 to discuss normalcy for children and youth experiencing foster care. A Round Table Report was issued in May 2019, and Commission staff made presentations about normalcy to various stakeholders in May, June, and September 2019. In October 2019, the Children’s Commission granted funding to Texas CASA to create a role-based Normalcy Guide. The Normalcy Guide and companion video were published in February 2022 to provide education about normalcy, including the importance of normalcy and how judges, attorneys, stakeholders, and others can support normalcy for children and youth who experience the Texas child welfare system.