History of the Texas Council
In 1965, the Texas Legislature passed the Texas Mental Health and Mental Retardation Act. The Act authorized local agencies to assume responsibility for local administration of mental health, intellectual disability and substance abuse services with the help of the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation (TDMHMR), also created by the Act. The Act established, in effect, a partnership among local agencies, the State (represented by TDMHMR), and the federal government, which at the time provided more than 50 percent of the funds for the new Centers.
By 1976 it was apparent that changes in statutes and public attitudes were necessary for Centers to continue and to fulfill the promises of the 1965 Act. Eleven years after the Act, organization of the Texas Council of Community Centers, Inc. was initiated by founders Ward Burke (the Council's first president), Frank M. Adams, and Woodrow W. "Woody" Allen, along with other Center trustees.
Statement of Purpose
It is the policy of the Board of Directors that the Council periodically will facilitate member Centers in development of a consensus vision for the member Community Centers as a system. The purpose, or mission, of the Texas Council is to support its members in realizing their vision. The members' vision statement, the Texas Council's statement of purpose, and the functions employed by the Texas Council in fulfilling its purpose are stated.
Vision for a System of Community Centers
Texans with mental illness, substance addictions and intellectual developmental disabilities have access to a well-funded, organized system of quality services and support that are responsive to individual choice and managed through a public system of Community Centers governed by volunteer trustees appointed by local government officials.
Texas Council Purpose
The purpose of the Texas Council of Community Centers, Inc. is to provide an organization through which Community Centers can work together as a public system serving Texans with mental illness, intellectual developmental disabilities, and chemical dependency, and by this work, can expand and improve services in their local communities with other provider systems, deliver quality services needed by their consumers, and provide accountability to their sponsoring governmental entities, their other funding sources, and the State governance for its investments in services.
Texas Council Functions
The functions of the Texas Council are conducted by a Board of Directors (one representative from the local board of trustees of each member Center), which employs an executive director. The Texas Council maintains an office in Austin where its committees, executive director, and staff accomplish the following on behalf of Texas Community Centers:
- Initiate and seek adoption of statutory recommendations to the Texas Legislature which will enhance and improve Community Center services.
- Initiate and seek the adoption of policy recommendations to State agencies which will enhance and improve community services.
- Provide critical issues identification and analysis to member Centers.
Provide educational sessions and materials to assist Center trustees to perform their responsibilities.
- Promote the purpose and vision of Texas Community Centers.
- Build consensus among member Centers on solutions to issues and problems.
- Provide an opportunity for trustees to seek advice and consultation from other Board members.
- Develop, oversee, and/or sponsor pooled resource initiatives, which are specifically designed to meet the needs of Community Centers.