foster care

This story is part of a Texas Station Collaborative series examining Texas foster care. It looks at who's involved and affected by what has been deemed a "broken" system. 

 

Early into his tenure as governor, Greg Abbott said he was committed to overhauling the state’s struggling Department of Family and Protective Services, which oversees the foster care system. He was particularly focused on reducing child deaths as a result of abuse and neglect. From 2010 to 2014, 144 children died despite the fact that CPS was investigating claims of abuse in those cases. Back in 2015, Abbott’s office committed an extra $40 million to child welfare services.

Pixabay (Public Domain)


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.

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