Kids Living Well By-Laws

Article I-Name

The name shall be Kids Living Well, formerly the Child and Youth Mental Health Planning Partnership.

Article II-Core Values

The values of Kids Living Well include:

  • Develop and Sustain a System of Care: A System of Care involves a service delivery system that has flexible funding and access to services in response to the level of intensity of a child’s needs. A System of Care encompasses the following values:
    • Strength-based, child-centered, family-focused, and family driven;
    • Parents are full partners in decision-making;
    • Community-based; and
    • Culturally and linguistically competent.
  • Commitment and investment in strong prevention efforts: The community values and funds services that focus on mental health prevention for children and youth.
  • Every child deserves to succeed: Early identification and intervention to address the emotional and behavioral needs of children should be promoted by the system of care in order to enhance the likelihood of positive outcomes.
  • Equity and access: All children should have equal access to mental health and social services.
  • Schools take a leadership role in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all students: Schools have the values, systems, and positive and strength-based practices with leadership in place to support and promote the safety and wellbeing of all children.
  • Culturally and linguistically competent services and service delivery approaches: Services and service delivery approaches are flexible and responsive to the individualized needs and resources of each family and accounts for all forms of diversity.
  • Strengths-based services, resources, and service delivery approaches: All children and families have positive qualities and strengths. All systems, services, and service delivery approaches are integrated and designed to address needs and strengthen assets for children, families, schools, and communities.
  • Child-centered and family-focused: The system of care should be child-centered and family-focused with the voice and choice of families while ensuring the best interests and safety of all children in determining the type and mix of services provided.
  • Integrated service access and information sharing: All systems and service delivery approaches are designed and integrated to focus on meeting the needs and strengthening the assets for children, families, and schools.
  • Evidence–based practices and continuous quality improvement: Children, families, schools, providers, and other stakeholders are actively involved in the system’s development to include: the promotion of evidence-based practices, including effective prevention efforts (e.g., primary, secondary, tertiary) oversight, evaluation, and continuous improvement.
  • Acceptance and community awareness:The system of care should identify and take action to minimize the impact of stigma and discrimination in mental health planning, service delivery, and evaluation to increase knowledge and acceptance of those with mental health needs.

Article III-Vision

The vision of Kids Living Well is:

All children and youth will reach their highest potential in school, home, and community life.

Article IV-Mission

The mission of Kids Living Well is:

Kids Living Well will promote the mental health of Travis County children and youth.

Article V-Roles and Responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities of Kids Living Well are:

  • To serve as the lead planning body for children’s mental health for Austin and Travis County;
  • To act as a governance board for grants or contracts that align with the Kids Living Well mission;
  • To develop, promote, implement, and update the Travis County Plan for Children’s Mental Health and Substance Misuse;
  • To educate and advocate for children, youth, and their families;
  • To review and disseminate data and information;
  • To identify community resources and needs; and
  • To facilitate collaborations and partnerships.

Article VI-Membership and Organization

Section 1. Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall be comprised of:

  • Co-Chairs,
  • Immediate Past Co-Chair
  • Co-Chairs of Ad Hoc committee(s)
  • Representatives of the Children’s Mental Health Plan Steering Committee
  • Three or more at-large members are selected by the Executive Committee, with at least one member representing family voice.

The Executive Committee shall represent diverse stakeholders and providers as identified in Article VI, including at least one family representative. The Executive Committee shall provide leadership and direction to Kids Living Well. The leadership of member organizations may be asked to attend Executive Committee meetings on an as-needed basis.

The Executive Committee shall be responsible for ensuring a diverse membership for Kids Living Well. Members will be recruited from a broad array of providers and stakeholders that include but are not limited to education, mental health, substance use, intellectual and developmental disabilities, juvenile justice, law enforcement, child-serving agencies, funders, government, faith community, family members, youth, civic and community leaders.

Section 2. Co-Chairs

The Kids Living Well members shall nominate people to serve as Co-Chairs of Kids Living Well. The Executive Committee will vet nominations and present them to the membership for voting. The membership shall elect the Co-Chairs at a regular membership meeting by a majority vote of the members present. The Co-Chairs shall serve staggered (2) year terms, with one term expiring in an odd year and the other term expiring in an even year.

Section 3. Membership

Member recruitment shall be ongoing and members may join at any time during the year. Membership will be reviewed by the Executive Committee annually to ensure information is current. Members shall:

  • Complete and submit a membership form and update as needed;
  • Actively participate in activities and meetings; and
  • Contribute resources to Kids Living Well (e.g., expertise, meeting space, supplies, in-kind donations, etc.).

Section 4. Ad Hoc Committees

The Executive Committee shall establish ad hoc committees as needed. The Executive Committee shall appoint a Chair for Ad Hoc Committees. Committee Chairs must be members of Kids Living Well. Any member may be appointed to serve on an Ad Hoc Committee. In addition, non-members may be appointed to Ad Hoc Committees at the discretion of the Executive Committee.

Section 5. Meetings

Meetings of Kids Living Well are open to the public. Kids Living Well is not a governmental agency but serves as a community-based advisory committee and is therefore not subject to the Texas Open Meetings Act. The Executive Committee schedules Kids Living Well meetings and may call special meetings as needed. The membership shall be given a 3-day notice of any special meetings, if possible.

A meeting calendar shall be developed and shared on the Kids Living Well website The Executive Committee may call special meetings as needed. The membership shall be given a 3-day notice of any special meetings, if possible.

Section 6. Voting

At any meeting, each member present shall have one vote. Agreement is determined by 51% approval by members present at any regular or specially called meeting. There must be at least 10 members present for the vote to be called.

Section 7. Staff Support

The Executive Committee shall be responsible for securing and maintaining staff support.

Article VII-Children's Mental Health Plan

Kids Living Well shall oversee the Travis County Plan for Children’s Mental Health and Substance Misuse and hold regular meetings throughout the year that focus on implementation and evaluation of the plan.

Stakeholders from across the community participated in a year-long planning process to develop the Travis County Plan for Children’s Mental Health. The Plan was first shared with community leaders in February 2015. This five-year plan to improve the wellness of children and youth in Travis County was updated in 2021.  The Plan is overseen by Kids Living Well and outlines action steps and community priorities including four key areas:

  • wellness and prevention,
  • effective intervention,
  • coordinated crisis services, and
  • system improvements.

The Plan builds on the strengths of our current systems with the goal of promoting wellness and effectively treating mental health and substance use challenges among children and youth in Travis County.

Article VIII-Commitment to Core Values

Kids Living Well is committed to the core values outlined in Article II. These values shall be incorporated into the activities of Kids Living Well to include: meetings, leadership roles, member recruitment, communications, and deliverables.

Article IX-Bylaws

Section 1. Ratification

These bylaws shall be approved by majority vote of the members present at any regular meeting of Kids Living Well

Section 2. Review and Amendment

Bylaws shall be reviewed annually by the Executive Committee and updated as needed. Bylaw updates shall be discussed at regular membership meetings or special called meetings and be adopted by a majority vote of the members present.

Article X-Glossary of Terms

Ad Hoc Committee - A committee formed for a specific purpose or task.

Executive Committee - The body designated to provide leadership and direction to Kids Living Well.

Family Representative - A person representing the interests of families and may include a parent or family member.

Membership - The person(s) who have completed a membership form on their own behalf.

Children and Youth - 0-24 years of age.