foster care

Kathy Couser / Texas Public Radio

As Texas lawmakers dig into their second week of the legislative session, Sen. Carlos Uresti, a San Antonio Democrat, is hoping Gov. Greg Abbott will make Child Protective Services and foster care an emergency item. That would allow lawmakers to immediately pass legislation to better protect children. 

Uresti has served 20 years in the legislature. He recently sat down with Texas Public Radio’s Shelley Kofler to talk about why child welfare is once again his top priority.

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

  Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

Special masters hired by the state to scrutinize the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services say the embattled agency should increase its focus on improving the timeliness in seeing children under its care — one of about 56 recommendations it made in a report released Friday.

In their 13-page report, special masters Kevin Ryan and  Francis McGovern also discussed the need for improvements in updating children's health records and limiting caseloads for Child Protective Services caseworkers.

From Texas Standard:

Texas began a strategic plan to reform the foster care system in 2014, but the overhaul is still in the early stages of rollout. The plan has been moving forward without much fanfare, at a time when Child Protective Services is taking a lot of heat for some high-profile tragedies.

The biggest change is a shift away from investigation efforts – the CPS worker who comes knocking on the door asking questions – to a public heath approach aimed at strengthening families and reducing the number of serious injuries and fatalities.

The plan puts a heavy emphasis on the staggering cost of child abuse and the need to be smarter about resources – to use big data as never before. 

 


From Texas Standard:

If you’re the church-going type, you’ve probably heard hundreds – maybe thousands – of sermons throughout your life. You probably don’t remember most of them. But one recently caught my attention.

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