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85th Legislative Session: Child Protection at the Forefront – Responding to a Crisis

The 85th Texas Legislature ended the Regular Session on May 29th after 140 days. This legislative session, legislators faced many challenges impacting Child Protective Services (CPS), the foster care system and children being harmed. As a result, they filed hundreds of bills related to child protection, a far greater number than in previous sessions. Legislation finally approved by the 85th Legislature addresses some of the issues.

Home Visiting in Texas

Family support Home Visiting programs are a crucial tool in strengthening vulnerable families and curbing child abuse and neglect. These are evidence-based (or promising-practice) programs. While models differ in methodology, the commonality between all are programs that, at the invitation of an at-risk family, provide a nurse, social worker or other trained professionals to provide mentorship and assistance that supports these families’ efforts to become more resilient and self-sufficient. This report provides a detailed overview of existing family support Home Visiting resources in Texas, and TexProtects’ vision for expanding Home Visiting to eventually reach at least half of all highest risk families – a percentage that would truly cut into Texas’ child maltreatment epidemic.

Child Protective Services Workforce and Recommendations

Retaining a high-quality workforce continues to be one of the greatest challenges CPS faces. Turnover at CPS remains higher than any other state agency of its size and despite a two-year reform effort called “CPS Transformation,” overall turnover at CPS remains the same, around 25% every year. This report has three main goals: identify the current issues remaining within the CPS system that contribute to high turnover, identify past reform and transformation attempts in the past 10 years that worked and those that failed, and outline key recommendations that TexProtects believes will ensure CPS has a strong and stable professional workforce to better protect Texas children.

Texas Foster Care System Analysis and Recommendations

In late 2015, a federal court ruled that Texas' foster care system violates the constitutional rights of the children in its care, and ordered sweeping changes. To assist legislators and other decision-makers, this report provides an overview of the system, including issues of healthcare, system capacity, education, and the needs of children about to age out of the system. Appendices include a flowchart of current services for children aging out and TexProtects' analysis of the Special Masters' recommendations to the court.

Kinship Care in Texas: Policy, Research and Recommendations

Kinship care is a type of family preservation service provided for children that are unable to reside with their birth parents - in short, relatives or others close to the family who step up to care for children that have been removed. Studies show that children in kinship care fare better than children taken in by strangers, making kinship care the most ideal placement. This report explains kinship care, outlines its benefits (including cost savings to the state) and challenges, and outlines TexProtects' recommendations for the 85th Texas Legislature to strengthen kinship care.


Home Visiting in Texas 2.0: Current and Future Directions - 2013-14 Data Update and Outcomes

An update to our 2013 report, "Home Visiting in Texas." This 64-page comprehensive report on the scope, funding and outcomes of home visiting programs in Texas, plus recommendations for the child abuse prevention strategy.


Understanding Texas' Child Protective Services System

We hope this report -- and its detailed flowchart on what happens when Child Protective Services receives a complaint -- will prove to be a most useful reference tool for legislators, state agencies, public policy makers, researchers, advocates, media and others for years to come. Next, we will release an accompanying Public Policy Brief with commentary on the CPS system process and recommendations for improvement in order to improve the protection of vulnerable Texas children.

Child Maltreatment County Risk Assessment

This research brief analyzes the Texas counties at highest risk for child maltreatment and makes the case for increased investment in prevention strategies focusing on those areas.


Home Visiting in Texas: Current and Future Directions

This 64-page comprehensive report on the scope, funding and outcomes of home visiting programs in Texas, plus recommendations for the child abuse prevention strategy.

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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