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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 of the Pines Legislative Advocacy Team Preps for 86th Session

As the legislative session quickly approaches, CASA programs and their Legislative Advocacy Teams (LATs) have been actively meeting with their state lawmakers to discuss policy issues and priorities for the 86th Legislative Session, which convenes on Jan. 8, 2019. The LAT with Lufkin-based CASA of the Pines recently met with State Rep. James White to… Read more »

2018 Foster Care Ombudsman Report

The state’s Office of the Ombudsman for Children and Youth in Foster Care released their 2018 report, citing that the office resolved 241 complaints from youth and confirmed 71 violations of policies, rules or children’s rights of those cases. There were more than 600 total complaints to the Ombudsman, with the majority made by a… Read more »

DFPS Seeks Community-Based Care Contractor in Region 1

On Dec. 7, 2018, DFPS released a request for application (RFA) for Community-Based Care in Region 1, which covers 41 counties in the Texas Panhandle. The RFA is to select the Single Source Continuum Contractor that will oversee foster and kinship care placement, case management and reunification services in Region 1. To learn more about Community-Based… Read more »

Update on the Status of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) in Texas

The Children’s Commission has released a letter to Judges and Attorneys with a response to the lawsuit that declared the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) unconstitutional. The United States and Tribal Defendants both appealed the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. On Dec. 3, 2018, the Court of Appeals issued its… Read more »

Texas CASA Spotlight: Sarah Crockett

Sarah Crockett is the Public Policy Coordinator for Texas CASA. Sarah grew up in Idaho and has a bachelor’s degree in political science and philosophy from Northwest Nazarene University, and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan in Social Policy and Program Evaluation. Sarah served as associate director of the Texas… Read more »

Texas CASA Testifies at Interim Hearing for House & Human Services Committee

The Texas House and Human Services Committee held its final interim hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 13. Interim charges focused on several foster care issues with an emphasis on trauma-informed care. Texas CASA testified on improving health coverage for youth transitioning out of care and strengthening post-adoption services for adoptive families. To view a recording of… Read more »

Texas Delays Implementation of Family First Prevention Services Act

The U.S. Congress passed the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) in February 2018. This law restructured federal child welfare funding, particularly Title IV-E and Title IV-B of the Social Security Act, which Texas uses to pay for services for children in foster care and their families. The FFPSA seeks to reduce the number of… Read more »

DFPS Announces 2nd Pilot Site for Family-Based Safety Services

Nueces County will be the next pilot site for Family-Based Safety Services (FBSS) to roll out. DFPS has been directed to conduct these pilot programs for the following purposes: Increase the quality, availability and effectiveness of family preservation services so more families thrive and avoid future involvement with CPS; Improve the safety, permanency and well-being… Read more »

Federal Judge Issues Orders to CPS after Appellate Ruling

Federal District Judge Janis Jack issued an order on Nov. 20 that could: require CPS to increase staffing for conservatorship and child care licensing workers, cease use of so-called “I see you” workers, prohibit placement of more than six children in foster group homes without overnight supervision, and require a major upgrade of the data… Read more »