Texas Governor Greg Abbott is calling for “comprehensive reform of our state’s struggling foster care and child protection systems” in a letter written to the Commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), John Specia. This comes after the deaths of three children with open child protective cases died who died within the first 3 months of the year (2015).
“Abuse and neglect of our most vulnerable Texans – our children – is intolerable, and it is especially intolerable when it happens to the a child under the care umbrella of the state of Texas,” Gov. Abbott wrote.
Gov. Abbott proposes $40 million be dedicated to implementing changes to DFPS, that include increasing access to family safety services and increasing child safety placement oversight. The proposal calls for stricter enforcement of the mandated visits that Child Protection are required to spend in direct contact with children and caregivers. Gov. Abbott also asked for a review of all child fatalities and critical injuries resulting in hospitalization.
Gov. Abbot’s letter requests that Commissioner Specia provide a response to his proposals by April 15. The Texas Legislature has not yet approved the $40 million increase to DFPS.
Commissioner Specia responded that he looks “forward to working with him and with legislators to strengthen protections and ensure safety for children in families who are involved with Child Protective Services.”
A Call to Action wants to express our deepest condolences to the families grieving the loss of these precious children Justice Hull (2 months old), Codrick McCall (age 4) and Audrey Torres (age 3) and others harmed or killed while in state care. We urge Texas, and other jurisdictions across the U.S., to implement needed reform to protect children and ensure better outcomes for families.
“Governor Abbott calls for reform of child protection in Texas” by Tanya Eiserer, WFAA, 3/26/2015: http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/politics/2015/03/26/greg-abbott-baby-justice-reform-changes-cps/70507144/
“Governor demands foster care, CPS reform” by KVUE, 3/25/2015: http://www.kvue.com/story/news/state/2015/03/25/governor-demands-foster-care-cps-reform/70433532/