Earlier this month, two teenagers in foster care were struck by a vehicle after running away from Child Protective Services (CPS) offices in Houston, where they had been staying because of a lack of appropriate placement options. One, a 15-year-old girl, died from her injuries. The tragic fatality has heightened attention on Texas’ foster care capacity crisis, but it is important to recognize that the issues Texas must address are much broader.
Lawmakers are fast-tracking a bill designed to overhaul the state’s child protective system. This comes just a few days after the governor says the agency is on his top-priority list. On Friday, current and former foster children will rally for lawmakers to make swift changes to Child Protective Services.
FOX 7 News Austin
Today hundreds of children in the welfare system will be in Austin for Youth in Action Capitol Day. We are live from the Capitol for more on what this day is all about.
The Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs (TDHCA) last month delivered to state lawmakers the findings of Youth Count Texas!, the first-ever statewide count and survey of youth in our state who are experiencing homelessness. Houston was one of 13 communities that participated in the survey, and results indicate that - as can be expected of Texas' most populous city - Houston is home to a large percentage of the state's homeless youth. In recent years, organizations have begun conducting youth counts in cities and states across the U.S. to better measure and understand youth homelessness, but Youth Count Texas! was the first to be conducted on such a large scale in a state as vast as Texas.
You’ve seen the headlines – more and more Texas children are going without foster care placements and being left to sleep for multiple nights in Child Protective Services offices. Now, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services has publicly released data showing that many at-risk children are not being seen by caseworkers when they should be. Last week, several Texas leaders — Gov. Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Strauss – responded to these issues and called on DFPS to fix the problems.