Welcome to the 87th Legislative Session Bill Tracker!

Here we will be tracking important legislation impacting the Texas child welfare system and the children and families involved.

Last updated: 4/9/2021

Texas CASA Champion Bills

HB 1413: Relating to the adoption of rules regarding the provision of peer support services to persons older than a certain age and the provision of those services under Medicaid. 

Author: Rep. Romero, Jr. 

Companion: SB 662

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Directs the Peer Support Stakeholder Workgroup at HHSC to adopt rules to allow for expanding Medicaid coverage for peer support services to youth who are 14 years old or older. Peer support is when someone with lived experience gives assistance to help someone with mental illness or a substance use disorder achieve long-term recovery. 

Status: Referred to Human Services


HB 2058: Relating to age-appropriate normalcy activities for children in the managing conservatorship of the state.

Author: Rep. Klick 

Companion: SB 52

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Promotes age-appropriate normalcy activities for children by requiring the court to review the Department’s efforts to ensure the child has regular and ongoing normalcy opportunities, whether or not those activities are listed in the child’s service plan. This is to occur at each permanency hearing after a final order has been made.

Status: Committee report sent to Local & Consent Calendar


HB 2286: Relating to the waiver of fees and costs associated with driver education and safety courses and driver's license examinations for foster children or youth, former foster children or youth, and youth experiencing homelessness.

Author: Rep. White 

Companion: SB 2054

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Requires the waiving of fees for driver education for youth and young adults under the age of 26, who were in the managing conservatorship of the Department prior to their 18th birthday and who resided in a paid foster care placement. The fee waiver also applies to youth experiencing homelessness.   

Status: Referred to Human Services


HB 2632: Relating to the Preparation for Adult Living Program and other services for foster children transitioning to independent living.

Author: Rep. Minjarez 

Companion: SB 1084

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Expands the Department’s Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) program to better support youth to be successful after they leave foster care in a variety of ways including documentation, medication and housing. Requires the program to address barriers for youth with disabilities to participate in the program, ensures youth receive needed personal documentation and identification, provides a secure email address to all youth fourteen years and older, and requires youth be provided physical proof of health coverage. Also, mandates that youth 17 and over receive support to manage their medication. Requires greater efforts to ensure transitional or supervised living arrangements for youth voluntarily leaving foster care at age 18, and also puts measures in place to make it easier for youth to stay in their current placement, including foster home, after their 18th birthday. 

Status: Referred to Human Services 


HB 2821: Relating to the diversion of certain foster youth from the juvenile justice system, including through emergency behavior intervention by certain persons providing foster care services. 

Author: Rep. White 

Companion: SB 2085

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Aims to limit the law enforcement involvement with children who reside in licensed child-care facilities through multiple approaches. Requires juvenile justice investigators to refer a child's case to a community service provider when the child resides in a licensed residential childcare facility. Directs residential child-care facilities to include in their behavior intervention programs training for emergency behavior intervention. Directs juvenile boards to establish policies that prioritize the diversion of these children from referral for prosecution as well as the limitation of detention. Additionally, requires juvenile boards to track certain data to monitor the success of these policies.  

Status: Left pending in committee, Juvenile Justice & Family Issues


HB 2963: Relating to the process for determining the Medicaid eligibility of certain former foster care youth.

Author: Rep. Klick 

Companion: SB 1059

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
For youth formerly in foster care, creates a streamlined process for determining eligibility for Medicaid including automatic enrollment or recertification, and simplifies the recertification process if needed, including residency requirements.  Aims to prevent unnecessary interruptions to health coverage.   

Status: Referred to Human Services


HB 3895: Relating to guardians ad litem for children who are in the juvenile justice system and the child protective services system.

Author: Rep. Wu 

Companion: SB 2049

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Adds that guardians ad litem (GAL) may be appointed by the juvenile court to serve children who are before that court and also involved with the Department in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship. Stipulates that a GAL appointed for dual-status youth may not investigate charges pending in the juvenile court.   

Status: Referred to Juvenile Justice & Family Issues


HB 4476: Relating to assessment and oversight of children placed by the Department of Family and Protective Services in a residential treatment center. 

Author: Rep. Oliverson  

Companion: SB 1575

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Outlines a process for the court to review placements by the Department of children and youth in residential treatment centers. In the review and assessment of the placements, recommends that the goals and needs of the child are considered, that efforts are made for the child to be moved into a less-restrictive setting and that qualified residential treatment programs are used if residential care is needed. Stipulates the Department shall convene family and other natural support people together to serve on the child’s family and permanency team, for youth in residential care placements.  

Status: Referred to Human Services


SB 52: Relating to age-appropriate normalcy activities for children in the managing conservatorship of the state.

Author: Sen. Zaffirini 

Companion: HB 2058

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Promotes age-appropriate normalcy activities for children by requiring the court to review the Department’s efforts to ensure the child has regular and ongoing normalcy opportunities, whether or not those activities are listed in the child’s service plan. This is to occur at each permanency hearing after a final order has been made.

Status: Referred to Health & Human Services


SB 662: Relating to the adoption of rules regarding the provision of peer support services to persons older than a certain age and the provision of those services under Medicaid.

Author: Sen. Powell 

Companion: HB 1413

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Directs the Peer Support Stakeholder Workgroup at HHSC to adopt rules to allow for expanding Medicaid coverage for peer support services to youth who are 14 years old or older. Peer support is when someone with lived experience gives assistance to help someone with mental illness or a substance use disorder achieve long-term recovery. 

Status: Referred to Health & Human Services


SB 1059: Relating to the process for determining the Medicaid eligibility of certain former foster care youth.

Author: Sen. Paxton 

Companion: HB 2963

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
For youth formerly in foster care, creates a streamlined process for determining eligibility for Medicaid including automatic enrollment or recertification, and simplifies the recertification process if needed, including residency requirements.  Aims to prevent unnecessary interruptions to health coverage.   

Status: Referred to Health & Human Services


SB 1084: Relating to the Preparation for Adult Living Program and other services for foster children transitioning to independent living.

Author: Sen. Powell 

Companion: HB 2632

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Expands the Department’s Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) program to better support youth to be successful after they leave foster care in a variety of ways including documentation, medication and housing. Requires the program to address barriers for youth with disabilities to participate in the program, ensures youth receive needed personal documentation and identification, provides a secure email address to all youth fourteen years and older, and requires youth be provided physical proof of health coverage. Also, mandates that youth 17 and over receive support to manage their medication. Requires greater efforts to ensure transitional or supervised living arrangements for youth voluntarily leaving foster care at age 18, and also puts measures in place to make it easier for youth to stay in their current placement, including foster home, after their 18th birthday. 

Status: Referred to Health & Human Services


SB 1575: Relating to assessment and oversight of children placed by the Department of Family and Protective Services in a residential treatment center. 

Author: Sen. Kolkhorst  

Companion: HB 4476

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Outlines a process for the court to review placements by the Department of children and youth in residential treatment centers. In the review and assessment of the placements, recommends that the goals and needs of the child are considered, that efforts are made for the child to be moved into a less-restrictive setting and that qualified residential treatment programs are used if residential care is needed. Stipulates the Department shall convene family and other natural support people together to serve on the child’s family and permanency team, for youth in residential care placements.  

Status: Left pending in committee, in Health & Human Services Committee


SB 2049: Relating to guardians ad litem for children who are in the juvenile justice system and the child protective services system.

Author: Sen. Menéndez 

Companion: HB 3895

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Adds that guardians ad litem (GAL) may be appointed by the juvenile court to serve children who are before that court and also involved with the Department in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship. Stipulates that a GAL appointed for dual-status youth may not investigate charges pending in the juvenile court.   

Status: Referred to Health & Human Services


SB 2054: Relating to the waiver of fees and costs associated with driver education and safety courses and driver's license examinations for foster children or youth, former foster children or youth, and youth experiencing homelessness.

Author: Sen. Menéndez 

Companion: HB 2286

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Requires the waiving of fees for driver education for youth and young adults under the age of 26, who were in the managing conservatorship of the Department prior to their 18th birthday and who resided in a paid foster care placement. The fee waiver also applies to youth experiencing homelessness.   

Status: Referred to Transportation


SB 2085: Relating to the diversion of certain foster youth from the juvenile justice system, including through emergency behavior intervention by certain persons providing foster care services. 

Author: Sen. Menéndez 

Companion: HB 2821

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Aims to limit the law enforcement involvement with children who reside in licensed child-care facilities through multiple approaches. Requires juvenile justice investigators to refer a child's case to a community service provider when the child resides in a licensed residential childcare facility. Directs residential child-care facilities to include in their behavior intervention programs training for emergency behavior intervention. Directs juvenile boards to establish policies that prioritize the diversion of these children from referral for prosecution as well as the limitation of detention. Additionally, requires juvenile boards to track certain data to monitor the success of these policies.  

Status: Referred to Criminal Justice


Texas CASA High Priority Bills

HB 147: Relating to the powers and duties of guardians ad litem and volunteer advocates representing children in the managing conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services.

Author: Rep. Minjarez

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Requires a guardian ad litem to inform a child in the conservatorship of the Department of their rights under the Foster Children’s Bill of Rights and provide them with a written copy. In addition, volunteer advocates who serve as a child’s surrogate parent for educational purposes are required to complete training on what the child’s rights are, as well as on the procedure for a child to report abuse or neglect.

Status: Scheduled for a public hearing on 4/12/21 in Juvenile Justice & Family Issues


HB 700: Relating to the eligibility of foster children to receive college credit for completing the Preparation for Adult Living Program. 

Author: Rep. Johnson, Jarvis

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Requires the Department to establish a work group that will develop a plan to ensure youth who complete the Preparation for Adult Living Program (PAL) receive college credit for the completion of the curriculum. The bill requires certain membership in the workgroup and requires a report be issued by November 1, 2022.  

Status: Reported favorably without amendments, from House Human Services Committee


HB 1237: Relating to adverse disproportionalities within the child protective services system.  

Author: Rep. White

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Requires the Department to establish a team to analyze and address the adverse disproportionality of children in the child protection system due to race or ethnicity, at each stage of system involvement. Also requires the Department to set a date by which that adverse disproportionality will be eliminated. 

Status: Left pending in committee, in Human Services


HB 1315: Relating to the duration of an appointment of a guardian ad litem or an attorney ad litem for a child in the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services.  

Author: Rep. Johnson, Jarvis

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
In child protection cases where parental rights are being terminated or conservatorship is requested by the Department, requires the continuation of appointment for guardian ad litem, attorney ad litem, or an attorney serving in a dual role, for as long as the child remains in the conservatorship of the Department.   

Status: Committee report sent to Calendars


HB 1597: Relating to transitional living services provided to foster youth transitioning to independent living. 

Author: Rep. Johnson, Jarvis

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Extends the age of foster care eligibility from 21 to 26 years old for the purposes of receiving transitional living services, which includes the extension of Medicaid coverage.   

Status: Referred to Human Services


HB 1790: Relating to the notice provided to certain individuals on termination of the parent-child relationship and on placement of a child in the managing conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services. 

Author: Rep. Darby

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Requires that certain relatives of a child in foster care be notified immediately in writing when an order terminating parental rights has been made. Relatives that are to be notified include those related to the child within the third degree by consanguinity, adult relatives of the alleged father, and other people identified as potential relatives or designated caregivers. Recipients who receive notification of the termination have 90 days to render a suit for conservatorship of the child.  

Status: Committee report sent to Calendars


HB 2926: Relating to the reinstatement of the parent-child relationship with respect to a person whose parental rights have been involuntarily terminated.

Author: Rep. Parker

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Allows the court to consider petition of reinstatement of parental rights for parents whose rights were previously involuntary terminated. Petitions for reinstatement may be filed by the parent, the Department, the Single Source Continuum Contractor, or the guardian ad litem.  Petitions may only be filed if two years have passed since the termination and the child has not been adopted. The parent must demonstrate that their situation has improved since the termination occurred, and the child’s preference must also be taken into consideration. 

Status: Committee report sent to Calendars, in Juvenile Justice & Family Issues


HB 3611: Relating to remotely conducting court proceedings in this state.

Author: Rep. Leach

Companion: SB 690

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Adds the option of remote participation in a court proceeding by any party involved in the proceeding, without the consent of parties, including jury trials. For criminal proceedings, both the defendant and the prosecutor must consent to a remote proceeding.   

Status: Referred to Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence


HB 3647: Relating to placing a child in the possessory conservatorship of the child's parents in certain situations.

Author: Rep. White

Companion: SB 1349

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Requires courts to review the possibility of returning a child to their parents at each placement hearing after the second anniversary of a final order being made, if parental rights were not terminated. The Department may recommend reunification when the parent has remedied the removal concern, the parent is willing and able to care for the child, it is in the best interest and preference of the child, and there is no other permanency plan identified.  

Status: Referred to Human Services


HB 3815: Relating to transitional living services provided to foster youth transitioning to independent living.

Author: Rep. Hunter

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Extends transition services up to age 23 for youth formerly in the conservatorship of the Department who are attending post-secondary education including vocational and technical schools. This includes the extension of Medicaid coverage and financial support for post-secondary housing assistance. 

Status: Scheduled for a public hearing on 4/13/21 in Human Services


SB 672: Relating to Medicaid coverage of certain collaborative care management services. 

Author: Sen. Buckingham

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Pending approval by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, requires the state to provide Medicaid reimbursement for behavioral health services that are provided under a collaborative care model.  

Status: Referred to Human Services


SB 690: Relating to remotely conducting court proceedings in this state.

Author: Sen. Zaffirini

Companion: HB 3611

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Adds the option of remote participation in a court proceeding by any party involved in the proceeding, without the consent of parties, including jury trials. For criminal proceedings, both the defendant and the prosecutor must consent to a remote proceeding.   

Status: Referred to State Affairs 


SB 1349: Relating to placing a child in the possessory conservatorship of the child's parents in certain situations.

Author: Sen. Eckhardt

Companion: HB 3647

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Requires courts to review the possibility of returning a child to their parents at each placement hearing after the second anniversary of a final order being made, if parental rights were not terminated. The Department may recommend reunification when the parent has remedied the removal concern, the parent is willing and able to care for the child, it is in the best interest and preference of the child, and there is no other permanency plan identified.  

Status: Referred to Health & Human Services


Other Bills texas CASA supports

HB 80: Relating to the discharge by certain defendants of fines and costs through community service.

Author: Rep. Johnson, Jarvis

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Forbids judges and justices from imposing fines or costs on children and youth in the conservatorship of the Department, or on those in extended foster care. Fines and costs are to be waived, and in some instances community service may be required instead.

Status: Committee report sent to Calendars


HB 108: Relating to statements on the impact of legislation on childhood racial disparity. 

Author: Sen. West

Companion: HB 710

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Requires a state agency, at the request of the Lieutenant Governor or Speaker of the House, to prepare a childhood racial disparity impact statement for legislation directly related to a specific agency. This statement must address if the proposed legislation will increase or decrease racial disparities for children under the age of 18 in the state, both in any specific geographic area and statewide. 

Status: Referred to Public Education


HB 116: Relating to the eligibility of and receipt by certain relative caretakers of dependent children of supplemental financial assistance and the assignment of those relative caretakers as protective payees for financial assistance payments; creating a criminal offense.

Author: Rep. Minjarez

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Expands the definition of relative caretakers of dependent children eligible for supplemental caregiver assistance by adding aunts, uncles and siblings; and lowers the age requirement from 45 years old to 25 years old. In determining financial eligibility, excludes the value of motor vehicles.

Status: Scheduled for a public hearing on 4/13/21 in Human Services


HB 155: Relating to the office of minority statistics and engagement in the Department of Family and Protective Services.

Author: Rep. Rose

Companion: SB 75

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Requires DFPS to establish, in consultation with an institution of higher learning and the child welfare community, an Office of Minority Statistics and Engagement. This office will work to identify and address the causes of the disproportionate representation of children in the child welfare system whom are members of a racial or ethnic minority group.

Status: Withdrawn from schedule


HB 162: Relating to a prohibition on prosecuting or referring to juvenile court certain persons for certain conduct constituting the offense of prostitution and to the provision of services to those persons.

Author: Rep. Thierry

About: Bill HistoryBill Summary
Forbids law enforcement from arresting or referring to juvenile court a child or youth under the age of 17, who is a survivor of child sex trafficking, for suspected involvement in prostitution. Law enforcement must use best efforts to return the child or youth to their parent first, followed by reaching out to a local service provider, or if necessary, placement with DFPS.

Status: Left pending in committee, Juvenile Justice & Family Issues


HB 193: Relating to the destruction of juvenile court records of victims of sex trafficking.

Author: Rep. Rose

About: Bill HistoryBill Summary
Requires the automatic destruction of juvenile court records for survivors of child sex trafficking, regardless of the outcome of the court case, once the person accused is 18 years of age or older. Physical and electronic records must both be destroyed.

Status: Left pending in committee, Juvenile Justice & Family Issues


HB 198: Relating to the prosecution of the criminal offense of indecency with a child.

Author: Rep. González, M.

About: Bill HistoryBill Summary
Expands the affirmative defense to indecency with a child to include same-sex couples. The defense has been youth involved in a consensual relationship who are within three years of age, as long as they were different sexes.

Status: Left pending in committee, in Criminal Jurisprudence


HB 240: Relating to the requirement and study of insurance coverage for serious emotional disturbance of a child.

Author: Rep. Thompson, S.

Companion: SB 51

About: Bill HistoryBill Summary
Requires group health plan insurance coverage to include coverage for treatment for “serious emotional disturbance of a child.” The coverage is required to be equivalent to that for physical illness. The Department of Insurance is required to study the effects of this coverage and issue a report.

Status: Scheduled for a public hearing on 4/13/21 in Insurance


HB 319: Relating to the eligibility for participation in University Interscholastic League activities of public school students who reside in an inpatient mental health facility.

Author: Rep. Patterson

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Ensures students who receive a public or charter school education while residing in an inpatient mental health facility are eligible to participate in University Interscholastic League activities.  The League may not have rules that exclude these students, and the school may not adopt or enforce policies that restrict their participation.   

Status: Referred to Public Education


HB 486: Relating to the age of criminal responsibility and to certain substantive and procedural matters related to that age

Author: Rep. Wu

Companion: HB 1273

About: Bill HistoryBill Summary
Changes the age definition of “child” to between 10 and 18 years old, or 18 to 20 years old if the delinquent conduct occurred before age 18 and the matter is before the juvenile court.  Therefore, raises the age of criminal responsibility from 17 years old to 18.  

Status:  Left pending in committee, Juvenile Justice & Family Issues


HB 487: Relating to the age of a child at which a juvenile court may exercise jurisdiction over the child and to the minimum age of criminal responsibility.

Author: Rep. Wu

Companion: SB 85

About: Bill HistoryBill Summary
Raises the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 12 years old, unless there is a felony charge. Requires the court to consider certain factors to determine whether intervention is warranted when there are felony charges.

Status: Reported favorably without amendment(s)


HB 488: Relating to requirements for a juvenile's appearance in a judicial proceeding.

Author: Rep. Wu

About: Bill HistoryBill Summary
Limits the use of restraints and wearing of detention center uniforms for juvenile court proceedings, unless doing so creates a safety risk for the youth or others. Restraints instead must be shown to be necessary and enforced through a court order, and appropriate alternative clothing may be provided to the youth by their attorney or family.

Status: Committee report sent to Calendars


HB 565: Relating to required training regarding trauma-informed care for certain judges and attorneys.

Author: Rep. Lopez

About: Bill HistoryBill Summary
Requires certain judges and attorneys to receive trauma-informed care training that meets various requirements and includes information regarding the symptoms and impacts of trauma on a child, attachment, resiliency and adverse childhood experiences, screening, and trauma-informed interventions and advocacy. This training will be required for judges presiding over cases involving children in the conservatorship of the Department, or in the juvenile justice system; and required by attorneys representing the Department in conservatorship or termination cases.   

Status: Referred to Juvenile Justice & Family Issues


HB 566: Relating to required training regarding trauma-informed care for certain attorneys. 

Author: Rep. Lopez

Companion: SB 904 

About: Bill HistoryBill Summary
Requires attorneys eligible to be appointed as attorney ad litem to receive trauma-informed care training that is designed to educate an attorney about their duty and includes information regarding the symptoms and impacts of trauma on a child, attachment, resiliency and adverse childhood experiences, screening, and trauma-informed interventions and advocacy.

Status: Left pending in committee, in Juvenile Justice & Family Issues


HB 607: Relating to a Department of Family and Protective Services plan to address the substitute care capacity needs in certain child protective services regions.

Author: Rep. Howard 

About: Bill History Bill Summary
Requires DFPS to include in the annual Foster Care Needs Assessment information on the capacity and geographic distribution of providers serving pregnant and parenting youth in the conservatorship of the Department. The current statute requires DFPS to address long-term and short-term capacity goals, but did not require information specific to particular population.  

Status: Referred to Human Services


HB 608: Relating to a Department of Family and Protective Services report on youth in the managing conservatorship of the department who are pregnant or who are parents.

Author: Rep. Howard 

About: Bill History Bill Summary 
Increases the information and statistics reported by DFPS about pregnant and parenting children or youth in the conservatorship of the Department. Requires the annual DFPS Data Book to include permanency outcomes information and comparison rates for similarly aged, non-pregnant or parenting children or youth.

Status: Referred to Human Services


HB 710: Relating to statements on the impact of legislation on childhood racial disparity. 

Author: Rep. Coleman

Companion: SB 108

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Requires a state agency, at the request of the Lieutenant Governor or Speaker of the House, to prepare a childhood racial disparity impact statement for legislation directly related to a specific agency. This statement must address if the proposed legislation will increase or decrease racial disparities for children under the age of 18 in the state, both in any specific geographic area and statewide. 

Status: Referred to State Affairs


HB 823: Relating to the inclusion of chronically absent students as students at risk of dropping out of school and the collection and reporting of data regarding those students.

Author: Rep. González, M. 

About: Bill History | Bill Summary  
Adds “chronically absent,” defined as having absences of more than 10% of the days within a school year or six-week grade reporting period, to the list of risk factors for students whom may drop out of school. Requires each school district and open-enrollment charter school to report on their number of students who: are chronically absent, in special education, have dyslexia, have limited English skills, and/or are educationally disadvantaged.   

Status: Referred to Public Education


HB 890: Relating to remotely conducting depositions, hearings, and other proceedings in juvenile cases.

Author: Rep. VanDeaver 

About: Bill History | Bill Summary  
Expands the use of remote court proceedings, defined as attending the proceeding through the use of technology such as teleconference or videoconference, to include juvenile court. Any party involved in the proceedings may participate remotely. For juvenile court proceedings involving a jury, assistance and guidance should be provided to the court by The Office of the Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System.  

Status: Reported favorably without amendment(s)


HB 903: Relating to the settlement of certain claims on behalf of a minor.

Author: Rep. Oliverson 

About: Bill History | Bill Summary  
Requires the Department to set up a trust for children and youth who are in the permanent conservatorship of the state and whom receive money through a settlement. 

Status: Committee report sent to Calendars


HB 967: Relating to the age of criminal responsibility and to certain substantive and procedural matters related to that age.

Author: Rep. Dutton

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Raises the age of criminal responsibility for a youth from 17 years old to 18, putting youth who are 17 at the time of an offense under the jurisdiction of the juvenile justice system rather than the adult criminal justice system. Makes additional conforming changes across a number of statutes. 

Status: Left pending in committee, Juvenile Justice & Family Issues


HB 1005: Relating to the requisites of a bail bond given by certain defendants and to conditions of release on bond for certain defendants.

Author: Rep. Leman

About: Bill History | Bill Summary   
Requires conditions of bond for trafficking or other sexual offenses against minors to include not contacting the child directly or indirectly. Also prohibits going near places of attendance by the victim including but not limited to their place of residence, school, daycare or employment.   

Companion: SB 317

Status: Left pending in committee, in Criminal Jurisprudence


HB 1009: Relating to reporting the serious bodily injury of a child; providing a criminal penalty.

Author: Rep. Minjarez

About: Bill History | Bill Summary  
Requires the immediate report of abuse or neglect of a child which resulted in a serious bodily injury. Makes it a criminal offense not to report the abuse or neglect, and it becomes a third-degree felony offense if the child died of their serious bodily injury and was under the age of seven. 

Status: Referred to Human Services


HB 1091: Relating to the confidentiality of identifying information of certain crime victims.

Author: Rep. Reynolds

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Creates a process for creating, offering, providing and protecting a pseudonym that is used instead of the victim’s name in all public files and records for child survivors of sexual abuse or assault. The office of the attorney general will create the form and process, and the investigating law enforcement agency will offer the pseudonym to the child or their parent, conservator or guardian unless they are alleged to have committed the offense. Makes it a Class C misdemeanor for a public servant to knowingly disclose the pseudonym to unauthorized people. 

Status: Referred to Criminal Jurisprudence


HB 1139: Relating to the statute of limitations for certain offenses committed against children.

Author: Rep. Meyer

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Increases the statute of limitations from 10 years from the 18th birthday of the victim to 20 years, for crimes of child trafficking or sexual performance by a child. 10 years from the victim’s birthday remains the statute of limitations for other offenses.  

Status: Referred to Criminal Jurisprudence


HB 1193: Relating to the jurisdiction of a juvenile court over certain persons and to the sealing and nondisclosure of certain juvenile and criminal records. 

Author: Rep. Wu

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Allows for records of youth with a determinate sentence in juvenile court to be sealed and not disclosed to the public criminal record. This applies to youth whose cases are transferred to district courts under the Family Code. 

Status: Committee report sent to Calendars


HB 1273: Relating to the age of criminal responsibility and to certain substantive and procedural matters related to that age

Author: Rep. Crockett

Companion: HB 486

About: Bill HistoryBill Summary
Changes the age definition of “child” to between 10 and 18 years old, or 18 to 20 years old if the delinquent conduct occurred before age 18 and the matter is before the juvenile court.  Therefore, raises the age of criminal responsibility from 17 years old to 18.  

Status: Referred to Juvenile Justice & Family Issues


HB 1426: Relating to the forensic medical examination of a victim of sexual assault who is a minor. 

Author: Rep. Shaheen

About: Bill HistoryBill Summary
Requires a forensic medical examination of children who have been sexually assaulted, regardless of when the assault is reported to have occurred, with the consent of the child’s parent or guardian. Law enforcement may not decline the request for a forensic medical exam.  

Status: Referred to Homeland Security & Public Safety


HB 1430: Relating to the age of a child at which a juvenile court may exercise jurisdiction over the child, to the age of criminal responsibility, and to certain substantive and procedural matters related to those ages.

Author: Rep. Dutton

Companion: SB 1552

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Changes the age of criminal responsibility from 17 years old to 18 and amends related statutes to conform with that change. Under the provisions of the bill, individuals who are 17 at the time of an offense would be considered juveniles and would be under the jurisdiction of juvenile courts and the juvenile justice system instead of the adult criminal justice system. The bill also raised the age from 10 years old to 12 for the age at which children can be under the authority of the juvenile justice system. 

Status: Left pending in committee, Juvenile Justice & Family Issues


HB 1481: Relating to contracts to provide appropriate residential housing to students in extended foster care who enroll at public institutions of higher education. 

Author: Rep. Johnson, Jarvis

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Requires all public colleges and universities to provide residential housing to enrolled students who are in extended foster care. This housing will be provided in supervised independent living settings, under contract with the Department. 

Status: Referred to Higher Education


HB 1540: Relating to regulation of certain facilities and establishments with respect to, civil remedies for certain criminal activities affecting, and certain criminal offenses involving health, safety, and welfare; creating a criminal offense; increasing criminal penalties.

Author: Rep. Thompson, S.

About: Bill HistoryBill Summary
Aims to ensure that a child’s health, safety and welfare are protected while on the grounds of a childcare facility or registered family home, including general residential operations (GRO). Requires “No Trespassing” signs be posted on the grounds of GROs in various specified locations, in both English and Spanish. Makes it a first-degree felony for a trespass offense by an unauthorized person, 18 or over, when the offense occurs in or at a residential treatment center. Expands the definition of coercion in the penal code. 

Status: On General State Calendar for 4/13/21


HB 1709: Relating to status offenses committed by a child, including the repeal of the status offense of a child voluntarily running away from home.

Author: Rep. Neave

Companion: SB 404

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Expands the definition of missing child to include children who have voluntarily left their home without the consent of their guardian for a substantial amount of time, or without plans to return. Decriminalizes running away as a status offense, and prohibits juvenile detention for youth who have run away.    

Status: Committee report sent to Calendars


HB 1783: Relating to the age of a child at which a juvenile court may exercise jurisdiction over the child and to the minimum age of criminal responsibility.

Author: Rep. White

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Changes the definition of a child in matters before a juvenile court by increasing the age from 10 to 13 years old, and to 19 years old if the offenses occurred before the youth was 17 years old.   

Status: Left pending in committee, Juvenile Justice & Family Issues


HB 1999: Relating to a specialty mental health court program for juveniles.

Author: Rep. Canales

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Expands the definition of a mental health court program to include serving children and youth with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Creates a specialty mental health court for juveniles that may divert the child or youth from the juvenile justice court, in cases where there are mental health, intellectual or developmental issues. Allows juvenile justice cases to be dismissed if the child successfully completes a mental health court program, and subsequently, their records may be sealed.   

Status: Withdrawn from schedule


HB 2071: Relating to elimination of limitations periods for suits for personal injury arising from certain offenses against a child.

Author: Rep. Johnson, A.

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Removes the statute of limitations for bringing a suit for personal injury forward in cases involving a child and sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, continuous sexual abuse, sexual trafficking, compelling a child to sell their body, or indecency with a child. Creates a period of no limitations, meaning a suit can be made at any time.   

Status: Referred to Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence


HB 2108: Relating to the waiver of jurisdiction and discretionary transfer of a child from a juvenile court to a criminal court. 

Author: Rep. Wu

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Requires judges in juvenile justice cases to verbally notify the child and their attorney if they plan to waive their jurisdiction over the case, thereby transferring the case to criminal court.  The judge must notify the child of their rights, and then set the date for the transfer hearing.   

Status: Scheduled for a public hearing on 4/12/21 in Juvenile Justice & Family Issues


HB 2123: Relating to requiring training in cultural competence for certain employees of the Department of Family and Protective Services. 

Author: Rep. Campos

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Requires Family Based Safety Services staff with the Department to complete training in cultural competence, which is defined as the “ability to understand, communicate with, and effectively interact with people from different cultures.” A component of the training must include ways in which cultural differences affect person’s views on family and raising children.   

Status: Referred to Human Services


HB 2633: Relating to resources provided to human trafficking victims and the establishment of the trafficked persons grant program.

Author: Rep. Johnson, A.

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Creates a multi-purpose grants program intended to support victims of trafficking and those who work with them.  Grant uses include but are not limited to prevention and awareness efforts, research, housing and recovery programs.  The funds in the grant will come from contributions made under both the Government and Transportation codes, specialty license plates, gifts, donation, legislative appropriations and interest. 

Status: Left pending in committee, in Human Services 


HB 2714: Relating to implicit bias training for justices and judges of state courts, judicial officers, certain court personnel, and attorneys licensed to practice law in this state.

Author: Rep. Hernandez

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Requires judges, attorneys and public-interacting staff in certain courts to complete implicit bias training. The training must address issues related to race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, mental disabilities, physical disabilities and sexual harassment; and address various forms of bias including implicit, explicit, unconscious and systemic bias. Judges are to take two hours of training every two years, and attorneys will receive one hour per compliance period.  

Status: Referred to Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence


HB 2895: Relating to law enforcement policies for peace officer response to certain family violence offenses.

Author: Rep. Romero, Jr.

Companion: SB 1848

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Requires law enforcement agencies to adopt the model policy developed by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement relating to how peace officers should handle calls involving family violence, when a child younger than 18 years old may have been physically present or within hearing range of the offense. The peace officer shall engage with the child in an age-appropriate way, including speaking to them at their eye level, validating the child’s response and offering comfort. The peace officer will document the child’s exposure to the violence and provide information to the parent/caregiver about the impact of exposure to family violence on children and services available for the child. 

Status: Referred to Homeland Security & Public Safety


HB 2924: Relating to certain grounds for the involuntary termination of the parent-child relationship.

Author: Rep. Dutton

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Removes previous termination of parental rights as a reason to terminate parental rights. 

Status: Left pending in committee, in Juvenile Justice & Family Issues 


HB 2973: Relating to certain requirements for court-appointed volunteer advocate programs.

Author: Rep. Hull

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Increases CASA reporting requirements, requires a grievance process and differentiates between active and inactive CASA volunteers for reporting purposes. Both active and inactive volunteers are trained by a CASA program; active volunteers are currently serving at least one child and inactive volunteers are not currently serving any children. 

Status: Referred to Juvenile Justice & Family Issues


HB 2975: Relating to prohibiting the physical restraint of certain public school students by peace officers and school security personnel under certain circumstances.

Author: Rep. Hull

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Prohibits the physical restraint of public school students 10 years old or younger unless the student poses a serious risk of harm to themselves or others. This prohibition applies on school grounds or at school-related/sponsored activities.   

Status: Left pending in committee, in Public Education


HB 3041: Relating to the procedures and grounds for taking possession of a child and authorizing a family preservation services pilot program as an alternative to removal in suits affecting the parent-child relationship.

Author: Rep. Frank

Companion: SB 1576

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Requires the Department to create a pilot program for family preservation/court-ordered services that are eligible for Family First Prevention Services Act reimbursement. The pilot program is to occur in two regions, one rural and one urban, one of which must be involved in Community-Based Care. Under the pilot program, both the child and parents are to receive an attorney ad litem, a court order must be in place and a service plan must be written. The pilot program’s goal is to keep the child at home or with relatives instead of entering the foster care system.    

Status: Left pending in committee, in Human Services


HB 3049: Relating to a prohibition on prosecuting certain persons for certain conduct constituting the offense of prostitution.

Author: Rep. White

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Prohibits charges of prostitution against a person who is younger than 17 years old.

Status: Referred to Juvenile Justice & Family Issues


HB 3165: Relating to an affirmative defense to an allegation of truant conduct.

Author: Rep. Meyer

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Adds voluntary absence from the child’s home due to abuse as an affirmative defense in a truancy hearing.  

Status: Committee report sent to Local & Consent Calendar


HB 3493: Relating to prevention and early intervention services by the Department of Family and Protective Services.

Author: Rep. Parker

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Adds adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) to the Family Code and requires the Department to create a statewide inventory of community-based programs and services aimed at preventing child abuse, neglect and ACEs. Encourages cross-sector collaboration and community awareness in prevention and early intervention. 

Companion: SB 1528

Status: Scheduled for a public hearing on 4/13/21 in Human Services


HB 3994: Relating to the modification of a disposition by a juvenile court after a child's violation of a condition of probation.

Author: Rep. Neave

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Stipulates that courts may not order detention for youth who have violated their probation order, if the youth do not pose a risk of danger to themselves or others. 

Status: Scheduled for a public hearing on 4/12/21 in Juvenile Justice & Family Issues


HB 4041: Relating to a suicide prevention policy in residential child-care facilities and child-placing agencies.

Author: Rep. Neave

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Requires residential treatment centers to establish a suicide prevention policy that also includes suicide intervention and postvention. All employees must receive annual training on the policy, and the training must include understanding of how to screen for risk and safety planning. 

Status: Referred to Human Services  


HB 4302: Relating to the continuation of the MEDCARES grant program and transfer of the oversight and administration of the program from the Department of State Health Services to the Health and Human Services Commission.

Author: Rep. Rose

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Continues the Texas Medical Child Abuse Resources and Education System (MEDCARES) under the oversight of the Health and Human Services Commission, instead of the Department of State Health Services. 

Companion: SB 1199

Status: Referred to Human Services


HB 4055: Relating to reporting and investigating certain cases of child abuse or neglect involving a pregnant woman's use of a controlled substance.

Author: Rep. Meza

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Removes the requirement for medical providers to report women who admit illegal drug use while pregnant, if the woman has enrolled in or successfully completed a substance abuse treatment program, or the medical professional deems the woman not a risk of exposing the child to a controlled substance or otherwise does not pose a risk of harm to the child. The Department may not investigate based on a woman’s use of a controlled substance, if the woman is enrolled in treatment. 

Status: Scheduled for a public hearing on 4/12/21 in Juvenile Justice & Family Issues


HB 4081: Relating to allowing the option of remote conduct in court proceedings.

Author: Rep. Crockett

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Requires courts to allow any party to any type of court proceeding to participate virtually through the use of technology. Also requires judges to submit a plan for how they plan to conduct remote hearings to the Office of Court Administration. 

Status: Referred to Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence  


HB 4244: Relating to the appointment of a representative payee or fiduciary for a child in the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services.

Author: Rep. Toth

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Requires the Department to select and appropriate fiduciary for a child in care who is eligible to receive benefits or services. Provides guidance for how the Department will handle matters  related to benefits or resources of children in the state’s care.  

Status: Referred to Human Services  


HB 4265: Relating to the provision of peer services, including family partner peer support services by family partners, and the provision of those services under Medicaid.

Author: Rep. Rose

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Changes the age of eligibility for peer services to 18 years old or older, but younger than 22 years of age. Requires HHSC to develop rules to allow for the provision of family partner peer services to families with children or youth with mental illness or substance use conditions. Directs HHSC to establish a stakeholder group to inform the development of those rules. 

Companion: SB 2104

Status: Referred to Human Services  


HB 4324: Relating to preventing discrimination in foster care.

Author: Rep. Crockett

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Prohibits discrimination toward any person in foster care on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression for child welfare services, including licensing and verifying of foster homes or the placement of a child. Explicitly applies to Community-Based Care contractors as well as the Department.  

Status: Referred to Human Services  


HB 4355: Relating to providing children committed to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department and prisoners serving a sentence in a county jail with certain documents on discharge or release.

Author: Rep. Krause

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Requires that youth being discharged from a juvenile justice facility are provided with their personal identification, or that steps to obtaining those items has begun. The identification to be provided includes state-issued ID as well as birth certificates and social security cards. 

Status: Scheduled for a public hearing on 4/12/21 in Juvenile Justice & Family Issues


HB 4371: Relating to juvenile justice reform, including the age of a child at which a juvenile court may exercise jurisdiction over the child and the age of criminal responsibility.

Author: Rep. Allen

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Changes the age range in the definition of a child who is under the purview of the juvenile justice system to 13 years old on the lower age (from 10) and to 18 years old on the upper age (from 17), and between 18 but under 20 years of age, for those involved in juvenile justice when the offense occurred before age 18. 

Status: Referred to Juvenile Justice & Family Issues 


SB 51: Relating to the requirement and study of insurance coverage for serious emotional disturbance of a child.

Author: Sen. Zaffirini

Companion: HB 240

About: Bill HistoryBill Summary 
Requires group health plan insurance coverage to include coverage for treatment for “serious emotional disturbance of a child.” The coverage is required to be equivalent to that for physical illness. The Department of Insurance is required to study the effects of this coverage and issue a report.

Status: Referred to Business & Commerce


SB 75: Relating to the office of minority statistics and engagement in the Department of Family and Protective Services.

Author: Sen. Miles

Companion: HB 155

About: Bill HistoryBill Summary
Requires DFPS to establish, in consultation with an institution of higher learning and the child welfare community, an Office of Minority Statistics and Engagement. This office will work to identify and address the causes of the disproportionate representation of children in the child welfare system whom are members of a racial or ethnic minority group.

Status: Referred to Health & Human Services


SB 262: Relating to training requirements and prohibited discrimination for child-care facilities and registered family homes.

Author: Sen. Menéndez

About: Bill HistoryBill Summary
Expands the training requirements of child care providers to include trauma-informed care and behavioral health. The behavioral health training must be completed annually and include understanding and managing behaviors, information about autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as working with community resources, communicating with parents and accommodating special needs of children in the classroom.  

Status: Referred to Health & Human Services


SB 263: Relating to the ability of certain relative caretakers of dependent children to receive supplemental financial assistance and be assigned as protective payees for financial assistance payments.

Author: Sen. Menéndez

About: Bill History | Bill Summary 
Broadens the definition of relative caregivers of dependent children eligible to receive supplemental financial assistance to include aunt, uncle, sister or brother; and lowers the age of eligibility from 45 to 25 years old. To serve as a protective payee of a child, the relative caregiver must be 25 years of age.   

Status: Referred to Health & Human Services


SB 317: Relating to the requisites of a bail bond given by certain defendants and to conditions of release on bond for certain defendants.

Author: Sen. Huffman

Companion: HB 1005

About: Bill History | Bill Summary 
Requires conditions of bond for trafficking or other sexual offenses against minors to include not contacting the child directly or indirectly. Also prohibits going near places of attendance by the victim including but not limited to their place of residence, school, daycare or employment. 

Status: Referred to Jurisprudence


SB 399: Relating to the criteria for review by the Sunset Advisory Commission of a state agency.

Author: Sen. Lucio, Jr.

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Directs the Sunset Advisory Commission in their review of a state agency to assess and report on the agency’s efforts to reduce racial disparities in the agency’s performance.  

Status: Referred to Business & Commerce


SB 404: Relating to status offenses committed by a child, including the repeal of the status offense of a child voluntarily running away from home.

Author: Sen. Johnson

Companion: HB 1709

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Expands the definition of missing child to include children who have voluntarily left their home without the consent of their guardian for a substantial amount of time, or without plans to return. Decriminalizes running away as a status offense, and prohibits juvenile detention for youth who have run away.    

Status: Referred to Criminal Justice


SB 512: Relating to youth diversion programs for children accused of certain fine-only offenses and related criminal justice matters; authorizing and imposing fees and fines.

Author: Sen. Perry

About: Bill HistoryBill Summary
Allows for diversion for youth charged with Class C misdemeanors other than a traffic offense.  Diversion is defined as an intervention strategy that redirects the youth from formal criminal prosecution and holds them accountable for their actions. Diversion strategies may include but are not limited to school related programs, work and job skills training, mental health support or mentoring services. 

Status: Left pending in committee, in Criminal Justice 


SB 642: Relating to the provision of mental health services for certain children at risk of relinquishment. 

Author: Sen. West

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Requires DFPS and the Health and Human Services Commission to adopt clear procedures and guidance for families at risk of relinquishing their rights to the Department, for the sole purpose of accessing mental health services for a child with severe emotional disturbance.   

Status: Left pending in committee, in Health & Human Services


SB 904: Relating to requiring trauma training for certain attorneys.

Author: Sen. Perry

Companion: HB 566

About: Bill HistoryBill Summary
Requires attorneys eligible to be appointed as attorney ad litem to receive trauma-informed care training that is designed to educate an attorney about their duty and includes information regarding the symptoms and impacts of trauma on a child, attachment, resiliency and adverse childhood experiences, screening, and trauma-informed interventions and advocacy. 

Status: Testimony taken in committee


SB 1079: Relating to monthly reports of certain activity of the Department of Family and Protective Services.

Author: Sen. Campbell

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Requires the Department to publicly publish a monthly report that reports specific data relating to statewide intake calls, investigations, family-based safety services, conservatorship services, residential-care licensing, and overall Department staffing.   

Status: Left pending in committee, in Health & Human Services  


SB 1199: Relating to the continuation of the MEDCARES grant program and transfer of the oversight and administration of the program from the Department of State Health Services to the Health and Human Services Commission.

Author: Sen. Powell

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Continues the Texas Medical Child Abuse Resources and Education System (MEDCARES) under the oversight of the Health and Human Services Commission, instead of the Department of State Health Services. 

Companion: HB 4302

Status: Referred to Health & Human Services 


SB 1528: Relating to prevention and early intervention services by the Department of Family and Protective Services. 

Author: Sen. Paxton

Companion: HB 3493

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Adds adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) to the Family Code and requires the Department to create a statewide inventory of community-based programs and services aimed at preventing child abuse, neglect and ACEs. Encourages cross-sector collaboration and community awareness in prevention and early intervention. 

Status: Referred to Health & Human Services


SB 1552: Relating to the age of a child at which a juvenile court may exercise jurisdiction over the child, to the age of criminal responsibility, and to certain substantive and procedural matters related to those ages.

Author: Sen. Hinjosa

Companion: HB 1430

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Changes the age of criminal responsibility from 17 years old to 18 and amends related statutes to conform with that change. Under the provisions of the bill, individuals who are 17 at the time of an offense would be considered juveniles and would be under the jurisdiction of juvenile courts and the juvenile justice system instead of the adult criminal justice system. The bill also raised the age from 10 years old to 12 for the age at which children can be under the authority of the juvenile justice system. 

Status: Referred to Jurisprudence 


SB 1573: Relating to the reporting of sexual assault and other sex offenses and to the collection, analysis, tracking, and preservation of evidence of those offenses.

Author: Sen. Paxton

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Strengthens requirements for providing forensic medical exams to minors who are victims of a reported sexual assault and codifies standards for these exams as well as standards for sexual assault examination programs. 

Status: Referred to Criminal Justice 


SB 1576: Relating to the procedures and grounds for taking possession of a child and authorizing a family preservation services pilot program as an alternative to removal in suits affecting the parent-child relationship.

Author: Sen. Kolkhorst

Companion: HB 3041

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Requires the Department to create a pilot program for family preservation/court-ordered services that are eligible for Family First Prevention Services Act reimbursement. The pilot program is to occur in two regions, one rural and one urban, one of which must be involved in Community-Based Care. Under the pilot program, both the child and parents are to receive an attorney ad litem, a court order must be in place and a service plan must be written. The pilot program’s goal is to keep the child at home or with relatives instead of entering the foster care system.    

Status: Referred to Human Services


SB 1718: Relating to provisions to enable the prevention and prosecution of trafficking of persons and certain sexual offenses committed against children and to the commission of civil racketeering related to the trafficking of persons.

Author: Sen. Hughes

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Changes the statute of limitations for trafficking of a minor to 20 years from the 18th birthday of the survivor, and adds a definition of coercion to the penal code. Clarifies criminal responsibility for sexual offenses with a child who is trafficked, even if the person did not know the child was trafficked. 

Status: Referred to Jurisprudence 


SB 1848: Relating to law enforcement policies for peace officer response to certain family violence offenses.

Author: Sen. Powell

Companion: HB 2895

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Requires law enforcement agencies to adopt the model policy developed by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement relating to how peace officers should handle calls involving family violence, when a child younger than 18 years old may have been physically present or within hearing range of the offense. The peace officer shall engage with the child in an age-appropriate way, including speaking to them at their eye level, validating the child’s response and offering comfort. The peace officer will document the child’s exposure to the violence and provide information to the parent/caregiver about the impact of exposure to family violence on children and services available for the child. 

Status: Referred to Criminal Justice


SB 1897: Relating to the appointment of attorneys ad litem for children in the managing conservatorship of the state and funding those attorneys ad litem through an instant-ticket lottery.

Author: Sen. West

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Supports the continued appointment of attorneys ad litem for the duration of the time the Department has conservatorship of a child, that will be funded by the revenue from the creation of a new instant lottery ticket game. 

Status: Referred to State Affairs 


SB 2067: Relating to a plan to address the substitute care capacity needs in certain Department of Family and Protective Services regions.

Author: Sen. Menéndez

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Works to better align the current foster care needs assessment conducted by the Department to align with the Family First Prevention Services Act, with the input from community stakeholders, and with a focus on capacity, distribution and types of placement. 

Status: Referred to Health & Human Services 


SB 2104: Relating to the provision of peer services, including family partner peer support services by family partners, and the provision of those services under Medicaid.

Author: Sen. Zaffirini

About: Bill History | Bill Summary
Changes the age of eligibility for peer services to 18 years old or older, but younger than 22 years of age. Requires HHSC to develop rules to allow for the provision of family partner peer services to families with children or youth with mental illness or substance use conditions. Directs HHSC to establish a stakeholder group to inform the development of those rules. 

Companion: HB 4265

Status: Referred to Health & Human Services