foster care

Despite a federal judge's scathing finding last month that Texas has failed to protect foster children in its care, reform advocates are steeling themselves for a lengthy battle to force state officials to make fixes ordered by the court.

Photo illustration by Todd Wiseman / Karolina Michalak / Felipe Hadler / The Texas Tribune

A federal judge ruled Thursday that Texas has violated foster children's constitutional rights to be free from an unreasonable risk of harm, saying that children "often age out of care more damaged than when they entered." 

"Years of abuse, neglect and shuttling between inappropriate placements across the state has created a population that cannot contribute to society, and proves a continued strain on the government through welfare, incarceration or otherwise," the ruling states. "... Although some foster children are able to overcome these obstacles, they should not have to." 

Mose Buchele / KUT

This week on Fronteras: 

-- While the ripple effect of oil busts have impacted many communities in Texas, one repo man says he's seen an uptick in business. 

-- Many Texas counties lack psychiatrists. One incentive program hopes to lure more mental health professionals to rural towns. 

-- One family in rural Texas has fostered more than 50 children. The diverse group was met with some resistance from the neighborhood. 

-- A Spanish-language book truck encourages children to learn in their parents' native tongue. 

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. 

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