foster care

Courtesy cindyburkett.org

AUSTIN — Amid a recent rise of youngsters in foster care who have died across Texas, the Legislature late Monday began mulling a bill that would require 35 hours of training for potential foster care parents — more than double what some are now required to have.

The House Human Services Committee heard the proposal by Republican Rep. Cindy Burkett of Sunnyvale. Its members left the bill pending rather than approving it on for a full floor vote, but there was little opposition voiced.

State of Texas

A new investigative series by the Austin-American Statesman out this week said the state's agency charged with protecting vulnerable kids has been underreporting the number of abuse-related deaths, has failed to analyze its own numbers. The publication, in a scathing indictment of Child Protective Services, said and in many ways it had been operating with blinders on regarding child deaths. 

Flickr User: wonderlane / cc

Nationwide, while 70% of foster youth say they want to go to college only 3% ever graduate from a post-secondary school.  

Ryan Poppe / TPR News

State lawmakers are looking at possible legislation in 2015 that would increase the number of foster care youth enrolled in college using a free tuition waiver. 

In 2013, high school graduation rates for foster care children were less than 65% and many of them age-out of the college tuition waiver provided by the state of Texas.

State of Texas

Last week Providence Service Corporation of Texas pulled out of a 5 year contract with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services after only 18 months. The contractor was part of a reform effort to consolidate kids under one service provider in a geographic area. Providence, which was covering areas of west Texas including Odessa and Wichita Falls, had recently been criticized for running millions over budget.

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