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How our legislative & public policy leadership is inspiring positive change in the child welfare system. Below you will find all of the latest Capitol Beat stories – to browse other categories, return to The CASA Voice home page or use the navigation list in the right column.

Be sure to keep informed of the latest state and national child welfare news coverage on the News Clips of Interest page!

The Foster Care Ombudsman: What You & Youth in Foster Care Should Know!

The Foster Care Ombudsman’s office exists solely to help youth who are having problems with programs and services, whose rights may be being violated, who may be experiencing abuse or neglect in their placements or who have other issues or questions they need help with. In the last year, more youth than ever contacted the… Read more »

Texas House Speaker Releases House Interim Charges

The Office of Speaker Dennis Bonnen has released a list of interim charges for respective House committees to examine over the interim and leading into the 2021 Legislative Session. Committees are assigned these charges and also may review other issues within their jurisdiction. View the interim charges report The House Committee on Human Services is… Read more »

Texas House Human Services Committee Holds First Interim Hearing

The Texas House Human Services Committee held their first interim hearing on Nov. 12, 2019. The committee heard updates on Medicaid 1115 waivers, the implementation and rollout of Community-Based Care, and the implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act. Much of the six-hour hearing was dedicated to hearing testimony on the Department of Family… Read more »

Watch Education Benefits for Foster Care Alumni Webinar

Texas CASA recently hosted a webinar focused on education benefits available to foster care alumni. In this hour-long webinar, Jamie Bernstein, Assistant Director for The Supreme Court of Texas Children’s Commission, gives an overview of the tuition and fee waiver and Brandi Purswell, ETV Specialist from BCFS Health and Human Services talks in depth about… Read more »

First Public Policy Regional Training at CASA of the Coastal Bend

Texas CASA’s Public Policy team is hitting the road and coming to your region soon to host trainings that will help staff and volunteers learn more of the coming changes with the Family First Prevention Services Act and implementation of Community-Based Care. The first regional training took place on Nov. 7 at CASA of the Coastal… Read more »

House Human Services Hearing Discusses CBC & FFPSA Implementation

The Texas House Human Services committee met on Monday, Nov. 12, for their first time since the end of the 86th Legislative Session. The committee met to discuss implementation of Community-Based Care and the Family First Prevention Services Act. They also reviewed the processes and policies by which the Department of Family and Protective Services… Read more »

Texas CASA & CASA Programs Participate in FFPSA Stakeholder Meetings

As required by legislation passed during the 86th Legislative Session, the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) has begun to meet with a variety of stakeholders, including local CASA Executive Directors and the Child Protection Roundtable, about how it should implement the federal Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) in Texas. Texas CASA invited… Read more »

DFPS Announces Stage II of Community-Based Care in Region 3B

In October 2019, the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) announced it had taken steps to expand Community-Based Care (CBC) into Stage II in Region 3B. Region 3B includes Tarrant, Erath, Hood, Johnson, Palo Pinto, Parker and Somervell counties. This expansion was done by a contract amendment with Our Communities Our Kids (OCOK), a… Read more »

CASA Deep Dive: The Federal Foster Care Lawsuit

In this CASA Deep Dive, we’re looking into the federal foster care lawsuit – the long-running legal battle, the results, and what it means for Texas’ foster care system moving forward. What’s the lawsuit about? In 2011, nine children who had experience with Texas’ long-term foster care system (also known as Permanent Managing Conservatorship or… Read more »

New DFPS Commissioner Announced

On Wednesday, Oct. 9, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Jaime Masters of Kansas City, Missouri as the newly appointed Commissioner of the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). She is currently the acting Chief of Health Services and Acting Chief of Operations for Jackson County, Missouri, and has served as Deputy Secretary of Family Services… Read more »