On April 30, 2020, The Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS) released a Rider 24 Report for Utilization of Appropriate Levels of Care in Foster Care. Rider 24 is a product of the 86th Texas Legislative Session, and mandates that DFPS release quarterly reports providing information regarding implementation of plans to ensure children are placed in the most appropriate service level.
The report provides an update on the progress of two new levels of care (Intense Plus and Treatment Family Foster Care Services) and breaks down the number of children in care and the amount spent on that care.
The data shows that in Quarter 1 there were 15,804 children in paid foster care (excluding child specific contracts and SSCCs) which cost $91,200,000.75, and in Quarter 2 there were 14,986 children in paid foster care (excluding child specific contracts and SSCCs), costing $86,616,116.87. The report also looks at child-specific contracts, SSCC foster care and costs/enrollment in different levels of care.
More specifically, we can see in the table below a clear breakdown of the number of children in care by service level and quarter, with steady declines across each service level from the beginning of FY 2019 to February 2020.