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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!

Texas CASA Supports LATs as They Prepare for Session

In the last two weeks, Texas CASA has conducted three different information sessions about the upcoming legislative session and our legislative priorities. We have been to CASA of Williamson County and CASA of Travis County, and participated in a phone call with Dallas CASA as well. The support and help that we receive from our… Read more »

The 85th Session Is Just Around the Corner & Many Bills Have Already Been Filed!

Bill filing for the 85th Legislative Session began on Nov. 14, and dozens of child welfare bills have already been filed. The currently filed child welfare bills address issues such as: Paying monthly stipends for kinship caregivers, Creating easier access to targeted case management for high-needs foster children, and Broadening student loan repayment opportunities for caseworkers. The… Read more »

Child Welfare Year in Review

The past year was difficult and truly momentous for child welfare in Texas. Many of you will have heard on the news and read in your papers the problems and challenges that our child welfare system and CPS have been facing, and to help you stay informed on the bigger picture as we head into… Read more »

Lawmakers Approve New Hires, Pay Raises at CPS

An emergency request for more than $100 million in emergency funding to hire more than 800 new employees and grant immediate pay raises at Child Protective Services won final approval from state GOP leaders on Thursday, Dec. 1. Even with Thursday’s approval of the new caseworkers, it could take as much as a year to get the… Read more »

Resources Available for Addressing Child Sexual Aggression

Children who are sexually aggressive and have sexual behavior problems need special attention, care and supervision, and DFPS has begun the process of implementing new procedures to better address these behaviors. As of Dec. 1, 2016, the Department is rolling out important changes that include indicating sexually aggressive behavior in the child’s case record, placement referral form, placement summary… Read more »

Efforts to Raise CPS Pay, Hire More Workers Not Resolved

Legislative leaders are still attempting to reach agreement on efforts to increase CPS caseworker pay and add additional workers. These efforts are intended to help lower CPS employee turnover and deal with a persistent backlog in child abuse and neglect investigations. In early October, state leaders directed DFPS Commissioner Hank Whitman to develop a plan… Read more »

Texas Rejects Special Masters’ Recommendations to Fix Foster Care System

On Nov. 21, attorneys for the state of Texas rejected the recommendations to overhaul the foster care system made by court-appointed special masters, who were selected by U.S. District Judge Janis Jack as part of her December 2015 ruling against the Texas child welfare system. Attorneys for the state argued that Texas shouldn’t have to… Read more »

Texas CASA’s Legislative Priorities for 85th Session

The 85th Texas Legislature is quickly approaching and officially convenes on Jan. 10, 2017. With several bills already being filed, now is a good time for all CASA volunteers, staff and other supporters to ask your local legislators to support our Legislative Priorities for the upcoming legislative session. Among the major legislative items Texas CASA is… Read more »

Bill Filing for the 85th Legislative Session Is Underway!

Bill filing for the 85th Legislative Session began on Nov. 14, and dozens of child welfare bills have already been filed. The currently filed child welfare bills address issues such as: Paying monthly stipends for kinship caregivers, Creating easier access to targeted case management for high-needs foster children, and Broadening student loan repayment opportunities for caseworkers…. Read more »