About The Partnership

The Building Bridges Initiative

The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) promotes full partnerships between all who are involved with youth and families receiving residential interventions and community services and supports. BBI also supports the use of promising, best, and evidence-based and evidence-informed practices to achieve sustained positive outcomes for youth and families. Originally founded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, BBI is a national partnership of residential and community service providers, youth and families, advocates, and national organizations that have come together to create better outcomes for children and youth with behavioral and/or emotional challenges.


Research shows that youth in the child-welfare system are best served when placed in the least-restrictive, most family-like environments. Still, residential placements are an important part of the continuum of foster care settings. Youth in these settings benefit from receiving specialized mental and behavioral health interventions so they can return to family-like settings as soon as possible.

BBI Texas

The Building Bridges Initiative Texas is a partnership between the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health, and the Texas Center for Child and Family Studies. BBI Texas works with Texas residential program leaders to explore the use of promising, best, and evidence-informed practices that promote sustained positive outcomes for youth and families after residential discharge. BBI in Texas was initially launched in 2016 by Texas System of Care in partnership with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

The Center for Child and Family Studies, in partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, brings trainings, strategic planning assistance and other activities to residential treatment centers in Texas. BBI Texas uses analyses and evaluations of short-term outcomes to inform future policies regarding residential interventions. Along with statewide training activities, resources are allocated for BBI coaching and technical assistance in Harris County.

The Texas Center for Child and Family Studies (The Center) is the 501c3 nonprofit supporting organization of the Texas Alliance of Child and Family Services (TACFS).

Maintaining dedication and the highest integrity, The Center works to equip child- and family-serving organizations with the knowledge, skills, and ability they need to provide high-quality services in their communities. Staying on the forefront of innovation and best practices while also anticipating issues and areas of concern, The Center achieves its mission through trainings, consultations, education, and rigorous research. The goal of the Center is to advance the growth of a highly skilled workforce and empower individuals and organizations to serve in their roles competently, ethically, and reflectively.

Learn More About


Helpful resources from the Building Bridges Initiative
These resources provide valuable background and context regarding the Building Bridges Initiative and can be helpful for those seeking best practices for residential interventions.

Implementing Best Residential Practices: Getting from Here to There

Full-Day Four-Part Building Bridges Initiative Virtual Conference​
The Building Bridges Initiative Texas will host a four part, full-day virtual training event on September 9, 2021 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. to focus on best practices in residential care. The conference will include frequent short breaks and a half-hour break for lunch. All four parts of the full-day training will build upon the previous session to support residential stakeholders as they look toward implementation of the Families First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA). This training event will aim to give participants a take-home plan of strategies that focus not only on compliance with FFPSA, but also best practices that produce positive outcomes for youth and their families.