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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!

DFPS Releases Legislative Appropriations Request for 2018-19 Biennium

The Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) recently released its Legislative Appropriations Request (LAR) for the 2018-19 fiscal biennium. State leaders exempted Child Protective Services programs from a 4-percent spending reduction that most other agencies are required to submit. DFPS requested $3.5 billion as its baseline funding for the next biennium but also submitted $534… Read more »

HHSC Releases Legislative Appropriations Request for FY 2018-19

The Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) released their Legislative Appropriations Request (LAR) for Fiscal Years 2018-2019 on Friday, Sept. 16. CASA funding was moved under HHSC last session in Senate Bill 354. Texas CASA is still reviewing the LAR, but some highlights are below: Our baseline funding under HHSC was not subjected to the 4-percent funding reductions that… Read more »

DFPS Announces 3 New CPS Regional Leaders

The Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) recently announced new Child Protective Services (CPS) leaders for Central Texas, the Gulf Coast and the Rio Grande Valley. The three new regional directors are Leshia Fisher for Region 6B, Marta Talbert for Region 7, and Tara O’Connell for Region 11. They began their new responsibilities on Monday,… Read more »

PEI Strategic Plan Now Available for Download

Earlier this month, the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) released its first-ever strategic plan on child abuse prevention and early intervention (PEI), shifting from primarily investigation-based efforts aimed at protecting children to a public health approach to strengthen families. The goal of the new effort is to reduce the incidence of child abuse… Read more »

4 of 10 CPS Regional Directors Are Fired, Fifth Retires

As part of his 10-point plan for reforming CPS issued in July, DFPS Commissioner Hank Whitman recently had all 10 CPS regional directors reapply for their jobs – which led to four firings and one director choosing not to reapply. “Child Protective Services officials fired four high-ranking managers this week, saying the changes are part… Read more »

DFPS Releases RFP for Next Foster Care Redesign Area

The Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) announced on Monday, Aug. 1, that they have released the Request for Proposals (RFP) for the next Foster Care Redesign area, which will be in DFPS Region 2. Texas CASA has served on the Public Private Partnership, which oversees Foster Care Redesign, for the last few years, and… Read more »

Texas CASA Hosts Successful LAT Retreat

On Saturday, Aug. 20, Texas CASA hosted the Legislative Advocacy Team (LAT) Retreat – an opportunity for CASA program LAT Chairs and staff to learn more about legislative advocacy, while networking with other members of the CASA community in Texas. At this year’s Retreat, attendees heard from Representative Marsha Farney, and the Texas CASA Public… Read more »

DFPS Developing Single Child’s Plan of Service Initiative

As part of DFPS Transformation, the Single Child’s Plan of Service initiative is meant to increase collaboration between CPS, parents, caregivers and contracted placements on the development of a single child’s plan of service rather than having two plans (one created by CPS and one by the placement entity). Click here for background information, time… Read more »

Update on Federal CPS Lawsuit

The State of Texas was denied in legal efforts to stop court-directed evaluation and planning by two special masters to improve aspects of the state’s child protection system. Following her court ruling last December that found parts of the Texas child protection system unconstitutional, Judge Janis Jack ordered the appointment of two special masters to… Read more »

DFPS Commissioner Whitman Issues 10-Point Priority Plan for CPS

New DFPS Commissioner Hank Whitman released a letter to Governor Abbott on July 5 laying out his “10-point plan for CPS.” Highlights include: All 10 CPS regional directors must reapply for their jobs. CPS Transformation will continue. CPS will work with the Texas Department of Public Safety to develop a team of “information analysts” to… Read more »