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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!

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 »

Legislative Advocacy Team Feedback & Moving Forward

In August 2019, the Texas CASA Public Policy team sent out a survey to Legislative Advocacy Team (LAT) chairs to solicit input about how they operate and what Texas CASA can do to best support them. The results were extremely informative and have great insight into how we can improve legislative advocacy in the network…. Read more »

Texas CASA Releases Guide to Community Based-Care

Texas CASA is proud to release Transforming Together: A Guide to Community-Based Care in Texas, Edition 1. Community-Based Care (CBC) is a sweeping systems change and a new way of providing foster care and case management services in Texas. The change shifts key functions of the child welfare system from the state to private, nonprofit… Read more »

DFPS Releases Implementation Plan for Community-Based Care

As required by statute, the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) has released the Implementation Plan for the Texas Community-Based Care System. Community-Based Care (CBC) is a new model of providing foster care and other related services that is rolling out geographically and in stages of service over time in Texas. The Implementation Plan is an… Read more »

Report Shows 2017-2018 Suspension Trends for Pre-K Through 2nd Grade

Texans Care for Children has released a report on Texas school districts’ issued suspensions to pre-k through second grade students for the 2017-2018 school year. The study provides context for how House Bill 674 (which largely prohibits out-of-school suspensions in this age range) has worked in its first year since being passed. READ THE REPORT While the… Read more »

Family First Prevention Services Act & Community-Based Care Webinars

Texas CASA’s Senior Public Policy Associate Sarah Crockett, joined by former DFPS Commissioner Anne Heiligenstein of Casey Family Programs, hosted a webinar about the new Family First Prevention Services Act and what it means for Texas’ foster care system. The webinar covers what changes to expect and how this legislation aims to keep more families… Read more »

Federal Appeals Court Overturns Ruling Against Indian Child Welfare Act

A three judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans overturned a lower court ruling that declared the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) unconstitutional. ICWA is a 1978 federal law that established a preference for Native American children to remain with their families or other recognized members of their tribe. The original ruling by a federal… Read more »

DFPS Releases Foster Care Needs Assessment & Rider 21 Report

The Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) has released the required Foster Care Needs Assessment and the “Rider 21” annual performance evaluation on Community-Based Care (CBC). Learn more about each report below. Foster Care Needs Assessment The Foster Care Needs Assessment is released each year in accordance with state law. DFPS data is extrapolated… Read more »

86th Legislative Session Recap Webinar Now Available

Texas CASA and the local CASA programs worked hard over the course of the 86th Legislative Session to pass some important legislation aimed at improving the lives of children and youth in the child welfare system. You can learn all about the major outcomes of the session in our recently recorded post session webinar. Topics… Read more »