STARRY is a 501(c)(3) that provides free professional counseling and family support services in over 30 Texas counties for families with children ages birth to 17; provides no-cost fatherhood services in Bell and McLennan counties for fathers with children up to 17 years of age; and provides family preservation services for Central Texas families.
When it was founded, STARRY was an acronym for “Service To At-Risk and Runaway Youth.” However, as its mission changed and services expanded, the acronym was no longer entirely accurate. Today, STARRY is the name of our diverse state-wide agency and represents our core values of Service, Together, Access, Responsibility, Relationships, and You.
As of January 1, 2023, STARRY Foster Care is now a Legacy Program as we have transitioned to a sole-focused Family Preservation program.
Throughout the years of STARRY’s Foster Care program, we served 1,230 children in placements to loving foster homes and celebrated 222 adoptions into forever families. We have tremendous gratitude for the foster families and individuals who partnered with us over the years. Your care and passion have truly made a difference in the lives of many children.
STARRY will continue to serve families who are at risk of being involved in the CPS system—just in a different capacity. Over the last several years, national and state efforts have focused on the development and embracing of a Family Preservation model within the foster care system.
This provides more mental health support and preventative case management services to children and their biological families. The culmination of these changes leads to a shift toward an ‘upstream’ approach—to help biological families gain the resources and tools needed to be reunified with their children; or, to keep their children from ever needing to enter into the system.
Here is a great community resource for foster/adoption information.
STARRY Family Preservation is charged with providing therapeutic support to biological families through family engagement services and case management services.
Family Preservation Services reduce placement disruptions and help biological families overcome their own trauma while equipping them to become better parents. This service builds a bridge between foster and biological families so they can communicate in a healthy, non-adversarial way that reduces conflict in both families, and ultimately create peace and cohesion for children.
The Family and Youth Services (FAYS) Program is available at no cost to families who have children birth to high school age. Professional Counseling or Family Support is available for both children and parents. Typical challenges addressed in counseling may include family conflict, communications issues, truancy, lack of motivation, poor self-esteem, bullying, divorce, ADHD, anxiety, depression, or grief. Families can be self-referred to STARRY or referred by school counselors, juvenile services, pastors, or parents. STARRY counselors visit with the youth and his or her parent or guardian regarding the program and goals the child and the family hope to accomplish through the program. An individualized action plan is established to resolve issues, increase strengths, and help families reach their goals for their family.
In addition to programs that actively prevent child abuse, STARRY is a lead agency in Williamson County for the state’s Universal Child Abuse Prevention (UCAP) program. STARRY provides a wide range of child abuse awareness presentations and materials to churches, schools, and other groups.
STARRY is focused on short-term, solution-based services. Follow-up inquiries by staff to families served and unsolicited phone calls and letters from these families indicate a high success rate in helping resolve conflict and helping children cope with issues causing destructive behaviors. The best indicator of success is the dramatic transformation that occurs in young lives. Time and time again, we see fragile children transformed into healthy, happy children and families learn to deal with dysfunction and communication issues.