Over recent decades, Texas’ economy and quality of life have thrived. However, we must confront the fact that not all of us enjoy the same chances for prosperity as others. Despite our economic growth, not all Texans have access to key factors that influence lifelong productivity: growing up in supportive households, living in safe neighborhoods, and having secure access to food and housing.
The systems that support and keep vulnerable people safe – especially children – are most often found in communities governed at the local levels. Texas must use smart strategies to develop the right incentives across the justice and safety net to ensure all partners – state, local, and private – are working toward effective goals. Investing early in the right evidence-based programs can reduce social costs later, but requires increased collaboration, honest accountability, and investments that are worthy.