Gov. Abbott released his budget priorities in February, which include several items related to child welfare. His budget recommendations give the Legislature a clear idea about what he is looking for them to focus on during the legislative session.
Note: This budget proposal was released prior to the February winter storm.
Gov. Abbott recommends the Legislature:
- Fund continued implementation of Community-Based Care across additional regions of Texas.
- Fund the requests made by Department of Family & Protective Services (DFPS) and Health and Human Services Commission relating to the federal foster care litigation to ensure ongoing compliance with the court order.
- Support ongoing efforts to improve the foster care system, including transferring the residential child care licensing function back to DFPS.
- Provide for an efficient licensing process for providers and facilities while ensuring proper safety regulations are in place.
- Find opportunities to expand the capacity of high-quality providers, which could include increasing payments for foster parents as well as for general residential operations.
- Utilize the Family First Transition Act funds and consider funding approved programs under the Family First Prevention Services Act to build out the prevention services capacity in Texas, drawing down the new Title IV-E funds made available for this purpose.