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Advocacy Tip: Utilizing 211 Texas

Utilizing 211 Texas

2-1-1 Texas is a free, anonymous social service hotline available through the United Way that provides easily accessed information and a referral system that is available all year, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. It connects people to resources in their communities, allowing them to access services in their area. It provides information on various topics including: Food, Clothing, Health Care, Child Care, Employment, Elder Care, Utility/Rent assistance, Counseling and Mental Health, Adult Literacy, Drug treatment, etc. 2-1-1 also keeps a complete listing of food pantries in Bexar county and eleven other surrounding counties. This is also the place to call for assistance enrolling in Medicaid or keeping Medicaid benefits. 

Support for Caregivers

As Advocates, 2-1-1 can be especially helpful for those CASA children placed in relative or kinship homes. Sometimes the issue that caregivers may have is the burden of feeding additional people living in the home. Ensuring that everyone has enough to eat on a regular basis is a priority. Having the caregiver call 2-1-1 can allow them to get information on food pantries in their area. They can also receive assistance with applying for food stamps/SNAP or having it adjusted to accommodate the additional children in the home. Often times, older relatives will step forward to take in children to keep them from entering into foster care. However, for many of these relatives they may be out of “practice” when it comes to raising this new generation of family members. If the caregivers are willing, having them participate in parenting classes maybe beneficial to maintaining the placement stability. 2-1-1 can be used to locate free or low-cost parenting classes, grandparents raising grandchildren support groups and information on grandparents’ rights. 

Support for Children

2-1-1 provides information for mental health services as well. It can be easier for caregivers to make arrangements for counseling and therapy than waiting for it to be established by the caseworker once children are placed in their home. Provided that the caregivers have the children’s Medicaid information, they can call 2-1-1 to get assistance with locating a counselor within the area or one who can meet the needs of the child/children. 2-1-1 will also assist the caregivers with information of the Medicaid benefits the children are receiving while in State care. 2-1-1 can even provide information for local swimming classes or music lessons should there be an interest expressed by a CASA child. 


  1. In what ways can 2-1-1 assist children in relative placements?
  2. True or False. Caregivers can receive assistance in applying for Food Stamps using 2-1-1.
  3. What information is needed in order for caregivers to receive assistance from 2-1-1 in locating a counselor for the children?

To receive 1 hour worth of training credit, read the above article and submit answers to the accompanying training questions to Leticia Hernandez at

Advocacy Tip: Utilizing 211 Texas