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2017 (85th Legislative Session) Accomplishments

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Full report on child protection bills in the 85th Texas Legislature

  • 11% funding increase for prevention strategies, including $10 million for evidence-based home visiting ($7 million for the Nurse-Family Partnership)
  • $12,000 per year salary increases for CPS caseworkers, and funding for hundreds of new hires (resulting in lower staff turnover and lower caseloads) - $292.8 million in All Funds to maintain 828.8 full-time-equivalent (FTE) positions and salary increases provided in fiscal year 2017 to address critical needs in the CPS program; and $88 million in All Funds to support an additional 509.5 caseworker positions in fiscal year 2018 and 597.9 caseworker positions in fiscal year 2019.
  • Increased monetary assistance for kinship caregivers (House Bill 4)
  • An omnibus Child Protection Act (HB 1549), including: (1) Implementation of recommendations from the Protect Our Kids Commission; (2) Evaluation of available child fatality data to create public health strategies for the prevention of child fatalities; (3) Strategies and goals to increase the number of families in high-risk, geographic communities receiving parent education, family support prevention and early intervention services each year; (4) Evaluation of prevention programs through partnerships with higher educational institutions to include analysis of efficacy and cost benefit to the state; (5) Improvements to workforce and its operations by addressing CPS’s massive turnover problem through retention and staffing strategies; and (6) Strengthening foster care through innovative approaches.
  • Amendment to maternal depression screening bill (HB 2466), to include changes to the Medicaid application to include information for health plans to use to better offer effective prevention services such as Nurse-Family Partnership.
  • Passed HB 1342 mandating sexual abuse prevention training for students, but vetoed by the governor

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