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STATEMENT: TexProtects on Gov. Abbott's Pledge to Comply with Foster Care Lawsuit

STATEMENT: TexProtects on Gov. Abbott's Pledge to Comply with Foster Care Lawsuit

Austin – Yesterday, Gov. Greg Abbott pledged to comply with orders by U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack in a nearly 10-year-old class-action lawsuit over long-term foster care conditions.

Sophie Phillips, CEO, TexProtects:

“We applaud Governor Abbott in his vow to bring the state of Texas into compliance with the longstanding lawsuit against the Texas Foster Care system, recognizing that it is fundamental to ensuring the immediate safety and protection of the nearly 50,000 children who are survivors of child abuse and neglect and come through the state’s foster care doors every year. The CPS system was built to protect. However, for thousands of children, it caused trauma on par, if not more significant than what launched them into foster care initially.

The Governor’s vow is a substantial promise and will require from our Legislature this session an investment to the tune of $126 million – significant, yet worth every penny to protect the safety of our children. It will also require leaders within our child protection agency to positively disrupt the challenges that have plagued the system for so long – coming up with innovative solutions and significant overhauls to infrastructure and systems. The reality is that while compliance with the lawsuit is necessary to solve many grave problems, it will not bring about transformational change – it is just the foundation and floor upon which we must build.

An investment of $126 million to address the many issues in the lawsuit will not erase the trauma those kids suffered.

We must consider what additional actions can be taken to prevent children from experiencing the trauma of abuse in the first place. The proven, most effective way to prevent abuse and neglect is to invest in community-driven prevention programs that get to root causes.

In addition to the $126 million investment needed, the state will spend more than $2 billion on the “back end” of the child protection system this year (i.e., foster care, abuse investigations, case management). Less than 5% - will be spent on programs and strategies that prevent abuse – which has demonstrated upwards of a 50% reduction in CPS involvement.

There should not be an “either” “or” when it comes to protecting our state’s most vulnerable. We urge Gov. Abbott and our lawmakers to fulfill the promise to comply with the lawsuit and further commit to fewer children in foster care, which is no permanent place for a child to grow up. Together we can build and restore the foundations of childhood and build healthy families – securing the future of Texas.”

TexProtects is the only nonprofit and nonpartisan advocacy organization with a singular focus: smart solutions to child abuse and neglect for the state of Texas. Visit texprotects.org for more resources.

Posted on February 4, 2021.
Tags: care, foster

Comments

  • Posted by Antonio Santiago on Tuesday, December 21 at 05:58 a.m.

    I have 2 son's, 3 &6. there are 2 cps cases against the mothers of my kids. Cps department told me I had to comply and put myself on the cases or it was like giving up my rights. I have been complying and fighting for my rights for both children. I have lost work. I have been refused of being hired because I had so many classes and hearing, visits and my oldest son in August after an appeal have 2 weekends of the month of supervised visitation and child support was revised because cps never sent information in to attorney general office. My son has not been in his mother's care since December 2018. No the grandmother. He is with his great grandparents and 3 other brothers. For my youngest son cps was asking for garnishment of my rights. After doing and trying to completing some of the classes that was required, working to only be left with about 200$ to 300$ from check after 40 hrs at 9$ hr. For bills and food to live off of for 2 weeks.tge rest went to child support. I received no stimulus checks and during the freeze I only had 90$ to live off of for the 2 weeks. Denied unemployment, food stamps, and medicaid. Having to travel to Ozona Tx and San Angelo Texas for my oldest son's case and coming back to San Antonio Tx where I reside and for my youngest. I had to quarantine about 3 times this past year but in August 2021 my oldest son's great grandparents got COVID-19 and I had visited that weekend. It was there 14th day quarantine but my family and I came home feeling sick so we quarantined and took COVID test. I have results. But still even trying to do everything cps asked for and they were granted my rights. My son is going to be adopted by a aunt of his mom's. I have a close very close bond with my son and this is deviating. I'm asking for help all over , for representative. A voice for my kids and my self. I'm not the perfect father but I have tried to be. I have done everything and tried to complete all services that cps asked of but how much do they want from me. Me being dead. But I guess it was my rights. I'm reaching out please help thank you

  • Posted by IsacGoodo on Monday, January 17 at 07:34 p.m.
  • Posted by IsacGoodo on Monday, January 17 at 09:54 p.m.

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