GetInvolved

Get Involved

Be a part of the solution!

VolunteerTake the first step to becoming a CASA advocate!

NominateIf you know someone who has what it takes to be a CASA advocate, let them know!

DonateSupport Texas CASA & invest in the future of Texas' children!

Click here to view all CASA programs in Texas. For a CASA program outside of Texas, please visit the National CASA website.

Below you will find information regarding bills that we are championing throughout the legislative session, bills that we consider a high priority for the child protection system, and other bills we support.

Use the links below to skip to sections of the bill tracker or continue scrolling to see all of the bills listed.

Note: This is not an exhaustive list of bills that Texas CASA supports. If you have a question about a particular bill, please contact us at .


Bills Championed by Texas CASA

HB 72 | Relating to the continuation of Medicaid benefits provided to certain children adopted from the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services.

Author: Rep. WhiteBill Summary 

Allows adoptive parents to opt into STAR Health Medicaid for their child if the youth has a chronic health condition. Establishes a program that protects the continuity of care for each child and ensures the child receives their health benefits.

Status: Referred to Human Services

HB 811 | Relating to determining appropriate disciplinary action to be taken against a public school student who is in foster care or who is homeless.

Author: Rep. White | Bill Summary 

Requires public schools to consider whether a child is experiencing homelessness or in foster care when taking disciplinary action.

Status: Filed

HB 123 | Relating to personal identification documents for foster children or youth, homeless children or youth, and unaccompanied youth.

Author: Rep. White | Bill Summary

Companion: SB 481

Allows for foster children, homeless youth and unaccompanied minors ages 18-21 to receive a copy of their birth certificate without requiring parental consent or any fee. Also grants fee waivers for foster children, homeless youth and unaccompanied minors when applying for a Driver’s License or ID.

Status: In Committee

HB 1702 | Relating to services provided for students at public institutions of higher education who were formerly in foster care.

Author: Rep. Howard | Bill Summary

Requires that liaison officers at institutions of higher education that assist students formerly in foster care to obtain the names and information of all current and incoming students that were previously in the conservatorship of the Department. The bill requires the liaison to provide these students with information about support services available to them on campus. The liaison officer may participate in relevant training that serves to better assist children formerly in foster care.

Status: Filed

HB 1709 | Relating to the appointment of a surrogate parent for certain children in the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services.

Author: Rep. Gonzalez | Bill Summary

Requires school districts to notify DFPS if a surrogate parent has been appointed to child with disabilities who is in the conservatorship of the Department. Clarifies that if the school district determines that a court-appointed surrogate parent is not properly performing their required duties, the district shall consult with DFPS. If DFPS agrees with the school district that the court-appointed surrogate parent is unable or unwilling to act in the surrogate parent capacity, DFPS must request the court to review the appointment of the individual.

Status: Filed

SB 424 | Relating to determining appropriate disciplinary action to be taken against a public school student who is in foster care or who is homeless.

Author: Sen. West | Bill Summary

Companion: HB 811

Requires public schools to consider whether a child is experiencing homelessness or in foster care when taking disciplinary action.

Status: Received by the Secretary of State

SB 481 | Relating to personal identification documents for foster children or youth, homeless children or youth, and unaccompanied youth.

Author: Sen. Watson | Bill Summary

Companion: HB 987

Allows for children in foster care, youth experiencing homelessness and unaccompanied minors ages 18-21 to receive a copy of their birth certificate without requiring parental consent or any fee. Also grants fee waivers for these children and youth when applying for a Driver’s License or ID.

Status: Received by the Secretary of the Senate

 

Back to Top


High Priority Bills for Texas CASA

Hb 53 | Relating to the transitional living services program for certain youth in foster care.

Author: Rep. Minjarez| Bill Summary

Adds topics to be covered under Preparation for Adult Living requirements. Requires PAL to include lessons concerning insurance, taxes and voting.

Status: Referred to Human Services

HB 344 | Relating to the age of criminal responsibility and to certain substantive and procedural matters related to that age.

Author: Rep. Dutton | Bill Summary

Defines a child as a person between the ages of 10 and 18 instead of ages 10 to 17 for the purposes of criminal responsibility.

Status: Filed

HB 473 | Relating to the Department of Family and Protective Services reporting certain information regarding youth in the managing conservatorship of the department who are pregnant or who are parents.

Author: Rep. Howard | Bill Summary

Improves the reporting requirements for pregnant and parenting foster youth. Requires the Department of Family and Protective Services to report information concerning the number of pregnant children, the number of children who have given birth and whether the child and parents are placed together.

Status: Filed

HB 474 | Relating to a Department of Family and Protective Services plan to address the substitute care capacity needs in certain department regions.

Author: Rep. Howard | Bill Summary

Adds placements for pregnant and parenting youth to the required capacity needs assessment.

Status: Filed

HB 475 |  Relating to information for foster children who are pregnant or minor parents.

Author: Rep. Howard | Bill Summary

Requires DFPS to provide parenting information to parenting and pregnant foster youth.

Status: Filed

Back to Top


Bills Supported by Texas CASA

HB 45 | Relating to creating a mentor program for foster youth.

Author: Rep. Minjarez | Bill Summary

Requires DFPS to work with community based organizations to establish a mentor program to serve youth age 14 and older who are in foster care.

Status: Referred to Human Services

HB 65 | Relating to reporting information regarding public school disciplinary actions.

Author: Rep. Johnson | Bill Summary

Requires schools to track and report information concerning out-of-school suspensions. This is in addition to reporting expulsions and disciplinary alternative education program placements.

Status: Referred to Public Education

HB 99 | Relating to measures to assist students enrolled at public institutions of higher education who are homeless or who were formerly in foster care.

Author: Rep. Gonzalez | Bill Summary

Companion: SB 331

Requires liaison officers at institutions of higher education who assist students formerly in foster care to also assist students who are currently homeless. Furthermore, this bill requires institutions of higher education to give housing placement priority to students who are experiencing homelessness. The bill also requires the liaison to participate in professional development program to best assist this population.

Status: In Committee

HB 141 | Relating to minimum education requirements for child protective services caseworkers.

Author: Rep. González| Bill Summary

Requires DFPS to hire caseworkers with at least a bachelor’s degree in social work.

Status: Referred to Human Services

HB 314 | Relating to use of compensatory education allotment funding to provide assistance to students at risk of dropping out of school who are pregnant or who are parents and to reporting through the Public Education Information Management System.

Author: Rep. Howard | Bill Summary

Allocates funds for young students for child care. Also adds pregnancy as a reason why a student decides to withdraw from public school on the Public Education Information Management System.

Status: Filed

HB 323 | Relating to an exemption for a foster child from the payment of a fee for the issuance of a personal identification certificate.

Author: Rep. Jarvis Johnson | Bill Summary

Grants a fee waiver for foster youth seeking an ID.

Status: Filed

HB 576 | Relating to providing financial assistance to certain persons who care for a child under a parental child safety placement; creating a criminal offense; creating a civil penalty.

Author: Rep. White | Bill Summary

Provides monetary assistance to low-income parental child safety placements. Caregivers that have a family income equal to or less than 300% of the federal poverty level are eligible.

Status: Filed

HB 692 |Relating to the suspension of a student who is homeless from public school.

Author: Rep. White | Bill Summary

Prohibits public schools from sending homeless youth to out-of-school suspension.

Status: Filed

HB 822 | Relating to addressing adverse childhood experiences and developing a strategic plan to address those experiences.

Author: Rep. Parker | Bill Summary

Requires state agencies to develop a strategic plan to address and prevent adverse childhood experiences.

Status: Filed

HB 873 | Relating to behavior improvement plans and behavioral intervention plans for certain public school students and notification requirements regarding certain behavior management techniques.

Author: Rep. Allen | Bill Summary

Companion: SB 664

Requires annual assessment of behavioral improvement and intervention plans to address any changes in the student’s circumstances and requires notice to parents when a child with a BIP is disciplined.

Status: Filed

HB 941 | Relating to a child-care facility database on the Health and Human Services Commission’s Internet website.

Author: Rep. White | Bill Summary

Requires the establishment of a searchable database on the Health and Human Services Commission website that provides information on licensed child-care facilities.

Status: Filed

HB 988 | Relating to employee caseload limit goals for child and adult protective services and child-care licensing services and call processing goals for certain of those services.

Author: Rep. Walle | Bill Summary

Sets caseload limits for specific caseworkers working on child protective services and adult protective services cases. Also adds a limit to child-care licensing inspectors’ caseloads. Furthermore, this bill also requires the DFPS abuse and neglect hotline to maintain low hold times and low call abandonment rates.

Status: Filed

HB 1069 | Relating to consideration of the mental health of public school students in training requirements for certain school employees, curriculum requirements, counseling programs, educational programs, state and regional programs and services, and health care services for students and to mental health first aid program training and reporting regarding local mental health authority and school district personnel.

Author: Rep. Price | Bill Summary

Requires certain school employees to receive trauma-informed and grief-informed care training to better serve students dealing with substance use disorders and other behavioral health challenges. Also encourages best practice methods for training, such as positive behavior interventions and support. Additionally, this bill would require appropriate mental health education for students according to grade level.

Status: Filed

HB 1113 | Relating to state contract limitations and programs for sex trafficking prevention and victim treatment.

Author: Rep. Davis | Bill Summary

Establishes a program that aims to improve the quality and accessibility of care available to survivors of child sex trafficking. The program shall be a collaborative effort between the Child Sex Trafficking Prevention Unit and a health-related institution of higher education. Also establishes a grant program for municipalities and local law enforcement agencies.

Status: Filed

HB 1162 | Relating to the duration of an appointment of a guardian ad litem or an attorney ad litem for a child in the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services.

Author: Rep. J. Johnson | Bill Summary

Requires courts to provide a guardian ad litem or attorney ad litem for a child for the entire time the child remains in the conservatorship of the Department.

Status: Filed

HB 1224 | Relating to notice to the Department of Family and Protective Services that a foster child has been arrested.

Author: Rep. White | Bill Summary

Requires peace officers or a person that has custody of an arrested child to notify and make a report at DFPS if the child is in foster care. Also requires DFPS to develop procedures to review reports of arrested children and provide services to ensure the child’s best interests are being represented.

Status: Filed

HB 1292 | Relating to statewide initiatives to improve maternal and newborn health for women with opioid use disorder.

Author: Rep. Price | Bill Summary

Companion: SB 436

Requires the Department of Health & Human Services to develop and implement initiatives to improve screening procedures to better identify and care for women with opioid use disorder. The initiatives must be aimed at improving continuity of care, optimizing healthcare for pregnant women with opioid dependency issues and increasing access to medicine assisted treatment facilities for pregnant women.

Status: Received by the Secretary of the Senate

HB 1295 | Relating to early childhood intervention and rehabilitative and habilitative services.

Author: Rep. Davis | Bill Summary

Requires the managed care organization that provides health care to recipients of STAR Health to review recipients for Early Childhood Intervention Services (ECI) and monitor their ability to access to Early Childhood Intervention Services. Also establishes an ombudsman’s office for children receiving ECI.

Status: Filed

HB 1448 | Relating to the creation of the Texas Mental Health Care Consortium.

Author: Rep. Zerwas et al. | Bill Summary

Companion: SB 10

Establishes the Texas Mental Health Care Consortium to enhance the state’s ability to address mental health care needs. The TMHCC would be composed of 12 health-related institutions of higher education in Texas.

Status: Filed

HB 1626 | Relating to an emergency services coordinator for the Department of Family and Protective Services.

Author: Rep. Hernandez | Bill Summary

Designates an emergency services coordinator to DFPS that serves to prepare for and react to any natural disaster or emergency situation impacting children and youth in foster care.

Status: Filed

SB 10 | Relating to the creation of the Texas Mental Health Care Consortium.

Author: Sen. Nelson et al. | Bill Summary

Companion: HB 1448

Establishes the Texas Mental Health Care Consortium to enhance the state’s ability to address mental health care needs. The TMHCC would be composed of 12 health-related institutions of higher education in Texas.

Status: Testimony Taken in Committee

SB 98 | Relating to the eligibility of a relative or other designated caregiver of a foster child for monetary assistance.

Author: Rep. Menéndez | Bill Summary

Removes the requirement for kinship caregivers to be licensed to receive payment.

Status: Referred to Health and Human Services

SB 255 | Relating to minimum education requirements for child protective services caseworkers.

Author: Sen. Rodriguez | Bill Summary

Requires DFPS to only hire CPS caseworkers with a bachelor’s degree. Preference shall be given to applicants with a bachelor’s degree in social work or those holding an advanced degree in social work.

Status: Referred to Health and Human Services

SB 304 | Relating to reporting and disseminating information regarding public school disciplinary actions.

Author: Sen. Miles | Bill Summary

Requires public schools to track suspensions and provide demographic information in addition to the reason for the suspension and time suspended.

Status: Referred to Education

SB 331 | Relating to measures to assist students enrolled at public institutions of higher education who are homeless or who were formerly in foster care.

Author: Sen. West | Bill Summary

Companion: HB 99

Requires liaison officers at institutions of higher education who assist students formerly in foster care to also assist students who are currently homeless. Furthermore, this bill requires institutions of higher education to give housing placement priority to students who are experiencing homelessness. The bill also requires the liaison to participate in professional development program to best assist this population.

Status: In Committee

SB 333 | Relating to the appointment of an attorney ad litem for a child in the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services.

Author: Sen. West | Bill Summary

Requires an attorney ad litem to be appointed to a child in long-term foster care.

Status: Referred to Health and Human Services

SB 355 | Relating to developing a strategic plan to ensure the provision of prevention and early intervention services complies with federal law.

Author: Sen. West | Bill Summary

Calls for DFPS to develop a strategic plan for implementing prevention programs that comply with the Federal Family First Prevention Services Act.

Status: In Committee

SB 429 | Relating to a comprehensive plan for increasing and improving the workforce in this state to serve persons with mental health and substance use issues.

Author: Sen. Lucio | Bill Summary

Requires the Statewide Behavioral Health Coordinating Council to develop and implement a plan to strengthen the workforce serving those with mental health disorders and substance use issues.

Status: Received by the Secretary of the Senate

SB 436 | Relating to statewide initiatives to improve maternal and newborn health for women with opioid use disorder.

Author: Sen. Nelson | Bill Summary

Requires the Department of Health & Human Services to develop and implement initiatives to improve screening procedures to better identify and care for women with opioid use disorder. Includes improving continuity of care, optimizing healthcare for pregnant women with opioid dependency issues and increasing access to medicine-assisted treatment facilities for pregnant women.

Status: Received by the Secretary of the Senate

SB 487 | Relating to the office of minority statistics and engagement in the Department of Family and Protective Services.

Author: Sen. Watson | Bill Summary

Establishes an Office of Minority Statistics and Engagement within DFPS to address the disproportionality in the welfare system and provide recommendations for preventing and addressing disproportionality.

Status: Filed

SB 488 | Relating to required training regarding childhood trauma for judges who hear cases involving certain children and requirements for a juvenile’s appearance in a judicial proceeding.

Author: Sen. Watson | Bill Summary

Requires judges that hear cases with children in foster care to receive training concerning childhood trauma and adverse childhood experiences. Additionally, this bill allows for children residing in detention or correctional facilities to wear their personal clothing instead of the detention center uniform during judicial proceedings. Furthermore, this bill prohibits the use of physical restraints on children during judicial proceedings unless necessary to prevent harm to self or others.

Status: Received by the Secretary of the Senate

SB 538 | Relating to the issuance of a driver’s license or personal identification certificate to a youth experiencing homelessness.

Author: Sen. Johnson | Bill Summary

Provides a fee waiver to youth experiencing homelessness applying for a driver’s license or personal identification certificate. The youth is required to provide an notarized affidavit to receive fee waiver.

Status: Received by the Secretary of the Senate

SB 586 | Relating to the training of peace officers for family violence and sexual assault assignments.

Author: Sen. Watson | Bill Summary

Requires special peace officers that respond to family violence or sexual assault to undergo training courses on trauma-informed techniques and best practice methods.

Status: Received by the Secretary of the Senate

SB 633 | Relating to an initiative to increase the capacity of local mental health authorities to provide access to mental health services in certain counties.

Author: Sen. Kolkhorst | Bill Summary

Requires local mental health authority groups in rural communities to develop a mental health services development plan. The aim of this plan is to increase access to needed mental health services in rural communities.

Status: Received by the Secretary of the Senate

SB 664 | Relating to behavior improvement plans and behavioral intervention plans for certain public school students and notification requirements regarding certain behavior management techniques.

Author: Sen. Menendez | Bill Summary

Requires annual assessment of behavioral improvement and intervention plans (BIP) to address any changes in the student’s circumstances and requires notice to parents when a child with a BIP is disciplined.

Status: Received by the Secretary of the Senate

SB 821 | Relating to children’s advocacy centers.

Author: Sen. Nelson | Bill Summary

Requires children’s advocacy centers to adopt a multidisciplinary team working protocol that outlines the center’s mission statement, the roles of participating agencies and the agency’s commitment to the center.

Status: Filed

Back to Top