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Abbott, Patrick, Straus call for action by Child Protective Services


AUSTIN Texas’ top three officeholders on Oct. 12 instructed the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to improve the protection of children at risk of abuse.

With recent data showing the agency is struggling to see children in a timely manner, Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and House Speaker Joe Straus sent a letter to Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner Hank Whitman, calling for immediate action to more quickly help vulnerable children.

“Protecting children from abuse is going to be a top priority in next year’s legislative session, but there is a need for action right now,” Straus said.

The letter instructs Whitman to:

¢Develop a plan to hire and train more special investigators

¢Develop a plan to ensure that DFPS has the caseworkers to handle the increase in cases and to prioritize hires in the most critical regions of the state

¢Develop a plan to address a shortage of foster homes and residential providers

¢Reinforce a culture of accountability within Child Protective Servicers

¢Build upon ongoing efforts to enhance partnerships with faith-based communities.

The 85th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature will convene on Jan. 10.

Ed Sterling is the director of member services for the Texas Press Association in Austin.... Contact him at 512-477-6755 or edsterling@texaspress.com.

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