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TexProtects' 2019 (86th Texas Legislature) Priorities

For a printable flyer of our priorities, click here

Texas Child Protection Key Facts

  • 4 Texas children, most under the age of 3, die each week due to maltreatment.
  • 66,370 Texas children were confirmed victims of child abuse and neglect in 2018.
  • 43% of Texas children who receive family preservation services are re-abused within 5 years.
  • 423,000 Texas families with children under 6 are in highest need of prevention services.
  • 1,800,064 Texas children have been exposed to multiple adverse experiences.

PRIORITIES: To prevent child abuse and neglect, improve the CPS system, and heal victims after trauma.

1. Strengthen investments in community-based, primary child abuse prevention programs for children in their most critical neurodevelopmental years. HB 1 (DFPS budget, Exceptional Items 8-PLUS)

How?

  • Item 8b: Scale Nurse-Family Partnership to serve an additional 1,200 families - $12 million
  • Item 8a: Expand Healthy Outcomes through Prevention and Early Support (HOPES) to serve an additional 2,400 families - $18.5 million

Why?
To reduce child maltreatment and downstream costs associated with abuse.

2. Develop and implement a statewide strategic plan to address causes and symptoms of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). (House Bill 4183 by Rep. Tan Parker)

How?

  • Facilitate a public health approach through cross-systems collaboration that includes child protection, physical and mental health care, education, childcare and university research partners
  • Coordinate data, evaluate prevention needs and gaps in services, and identify best practices in existing services
  • Incorporate research based and trauma informed education, prevention, and intervention, across systems and communities

Why?
To connect Texas systems that prevent child adversity, facilitate healing from childhood trauma, and promote resilience in children.

3. Improve coordination and effectiveness of services for children at risk of entering foster care. (Senate Bill 355 by Sen. Royce West and Sen. Lois Kolkhorst)

How?

  • Develop and implement a strategic plan to leverage federal funds
  • Integrate mental health services, substance use prevention and treatment, and in-home parent programs
  • Improve access to community resources for relative caregivers

Why?
To keep every child with their family, when possible, so they can achieve their greatest potential.

4. Increase Statewide Intake (SWI) staff and maintain CPS staff caseloads. HB 1 (DFPS budget, Exceptional Item 1)

How?

  • Reduce SWI hold times for timely reports and response (16.5 to 8.5 minutes) - $9 million
  • Maintain manageable caseloads for Conservatorship (23/worker), Kinship (29/worker), and Foster to Adopt (17/worker) - $96.8 million

Why?
To reduce the risk of unreported child maltreatment and lower caseloads to better ensure every child is safe and secure.

5. Improve pregnant and parenting foster youth policies and practices. HB 473, HB 474, HB 475, Rep. Donna Howard

How?

  • Make available evidence-based parent education
  • Strengthen supports and tools
  • Advance best practices placements

Why?
To strengthen parent attachment to reduce intergenerational cycle of abuse and neglect.

6. Invest in housing options and support services for former foster youth. HB 1 (DFPS budget, Exceptional Item 5c)

How?

  • Strengthen Supervised Independent Living (SIL) services and case management for older youth with complex needs - $1.4 million

Why?
To create opportunities for young adults to be self-sufficient and successful.

For more information, contact:

Pamela McPeters
Vice President of Public Affairs
pamela@texprotects.org
512-913-4408

Jennifer Lucy
Director of Public Policy
jennifer@texprotects.org
512-971-9347


Our Mission

Our mission is to reduce and prevent child abuse and neglect through research, advocacy and education. We effect change by organizing and educating our members to advocate for increased investments in evidence-based child abuse prevention programs, CPS reforms, and treatment programs to heal abuse victims. Learn more about the work we do. You can help protect Texas children from abuse & neglect. Find out how you can help.

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