foster care | KERA News

foster care

From Texas Standard:

Texas Standard spoke with Kaysie Taccetta of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services about the new "community-based model" for foster care in the state. One service provider in North Texas is already working within the model. The Standard paid the group a visit. Listen to that part of the story below.

On Sept. 1, hundreds of new laws took effect in Texas. A number were aimed at improving the state's child welfare system. Failure to do so was not an option.

Lara Solt / KERA News special contributor

Sarah Matteson, who works at Texas Woman's University in Denton, helps “nontraditional” students get through college. Students range from homeless kids and those who were in foster care or the military to parents raising young children.

When Matteson entered school, she was nontraditional herself.

Texas House Backs Measure Barring Mandatory Vaccines For Foster Children

May 11, 2017
Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune

What started as Texas House members discussing a bill that would improve the state’s Child Protective Services agency turned into a heated debate over vaccines — and whether they should be required for children placed in foster care.

From Texas Standard:

Reform of the Texas foster care system has been an elusive goal for state lawmakers. A federal judge ruled the system unconstitutional and "broken" two years ago. One proposal that has received support in the current legislative session would have the state contract with religious organizations and other non-profits to provide care for foster children. But the idea has received pushback from some of the religious groups themselves.

 

Callie Richmond/Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott has declared the state’s child welfare system as an emergency item in the current legislative session. But tied to that is a problem state leaders have battled for more than a decade – sex trafficking. 

This story is part of a Texas Station Collaborative series examining Texas foster care. It looks at who's involved and affected by what has been deemed a "broken" system. 

 

Early into his tenure as governor, Greg Abbott said he was committed to overhauling the state’s struggling Department of Family and Protective Services, which oversees the foster care system. He was particularly focused on reducing child deaths as a result of abuse and neglect. From 2010 to 2014, 144 children died despite the fact that CPS was investigating claims of abuse in those cases. Back in 2015, Abbott’s office committed an extra $40 million to child welfare services.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

Last year, a federal judge declared the Texas foster care system broken. That’s no small-scale problem. There are more than 30,000 children in Texas foster care each year, and national studies indicate up to 80 percent of them have at least one chronic medical condition. 

Texas Argues It Can Fix Foster Care Without Judge's Oversight

Nov 23, 2016
Chan Lone

Texas’ Republican attorney general, faced with a mounting crisis in the state’s child welfare system, on Tuesday published a scathing critique of costly, court-ordered reforms meant to improve the conditions of children in the state’s long-term foster care system.

As First Bills Are Filed, Battle Lines For 2017 Session Begin To Emerge

Nov 14, 2016
Bob Daemmrich / The Texas Tribune

On the first day lawmakers could file bills for consideration during the 2017 session, leaders from both parties began drawing battle lines for fights over taxation, immigration and social issues that will likely dominate the upcoming meeting of the Texas Legislature. 

Texas Foster Youth Struggle To Get College Degrees

Nov 13, 2016
Allison V. Smith for The Texas Tribune

Shortly before her ninth birthday, Briana Dovi and her five siblings were placed into foster care in Central Texas. Dovi enrolled in school for the first time, battling speech disorders and dyslexia.

Bob Daemmrich / The Texas Tribune

Special masters hired by the state to scrutinize the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services say the embattled agency should increase its focus on improving the timeliness in seeing children under its care — one of about 56 recommendations it made in a report released Friday.

Dan Patrick Offers Faith-Based Plan To Ease Foster Care Crisis

Oct 17, 2016
Bob Daemmrich / The Texas Tribune

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick unveiled Monday an initiative for Texas faith-based communities to identify foster and adoptive families for children, the latest in attempts from state leaders to ease a backlog of thousands of endangered kids searching for homes.

State Leaders Order Child Protective Services Overhaul

Oct 12, 2016
The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott and other state leaders ordered the Department of Family and Protective Services Wednesday to ramp up efforts to protect endangered foster children and curb the backlog of ones waiting for homes.

From Texas Standard:

Texas began a strategic plan to reform the foster care system in 2014, but the overhaul is still in the early stages of rollout. The plan has been moving forward without much fanfare, at a time when Child Protective Services is taking a lot of heat for some high-profile tragedies.

The biggest change is a shift away from investigation efforts – the CPS worker who comes knocking on the door asking questions – to a public heath approach aimed at strengthening families and reducing the number of serious injuries and fatalities.

The plan puts a heavy emphasis on the staggering cost of child abuse and the need to be smarter about resources – to use big data as never before. 

 


Children, Vulnerable Should Be Focus Of Next Session, Straus Says

Sep 13, 2016
Laura Buckman / The Texas Tribune

Ensuring that children and other vulnerable Texans are not left behind as the state grows should be the focus of the next legislative session, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus said on Tuesday.  

From Texas Standard:

Editor's note: This story contains language that may not be appropriate for all readers.

In Texas, the law is pretty clear when it comes to who's responsible for reporting abuse or neglect – pretty much anyone who thinks abuse or neglect is happening. Often, that person is a delivery nurse or a doctor.

Tatiana Popova / Shutterstock.com

Governor Greg Abbott says the status quo at Child Protective Services is unacceptable. On Monday, he appointed new leaders for CPS and the agency that oversees CPS. 

Caseworkers, Kids Trapped In Collapsing Foster System In Texas

Apr 11, 2016
Callie Richmond / Texas Tribune

Daniel Hernandez, an investigator for the state’s Child Protective Services agency, left his South Austin home at dawn on a recent Thursday holding a stack of folders.

Foster Home Crunch Strands Children In Psychiatric Facilities

Apr 8, 2016
Texas Tribune illustration

Abused children in Texas are being left in psychiatric facilities longer than they were six years ago as the state's child protective services system grapples with federal court scrutiny and diminishing options, according to data obtained by The Texas Tribune. 

Shutterstock

Doctors at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth are used to treating cases of abuse. But what they’d really like to do is prevent it. So they’re experimenting with “big data” technology that could help predict neighborhoods where kids are most likely to be abused.

Texas Will Begin Tracking Pregnant Foster Youth

Jan 8, 2016
Philippe Put / Texas Tribune

The teenage pregnancy rate in the United States, including Texas, continues to fall, according to a recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

DOUALY XAYKAOTHAO / KERA NEWS

A federal judge ruled recently that Texas’ long-term foster care system is “broken.” In North Texas, a Fort Worth-based nonprofit has been working out the kinks in a model that could redesign the entire system, giving more flexibility to local organizations to address the problems outlined in the judge’s opinion.

Judge: Texas Foster Care System Violates Children's Rights

Dec 17, 2015
Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

A federal judge ruled Thursday that Texas has violated foster children's constitutional rights to be free from an unreasonable risk of harm, saying that children "often age out of care more damaged than when they entered." 

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

On Thursday, we heard from a single mom about her transition out of the foster care system. In the final part of KERA’s Remaking Foster Care, we’ll hear from another person who aged out of the system: a 24-year-old from East Dallas.

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

KERA’s Remaking Foster Care series continues with two young adults who “aged” out of the system when they turned 18. 

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

In the rural town of Rio Vista, south of Fort Worth, a husband and wife has fostered more than 50 children in the last eight years. 

Mathew Terrell / Facebook

In our series “Remaking Foster Care,” KERA is exploring efforts by the state of Texas to redesign the foster care system – and profiling the people who’ll be affected. Today, we’ll zero in on biological parents.

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

About 45,000 young Texans can’t safely live with their parents. A third of them are in state custody. They’re trying to navigate a foster care system that’s faced crisis after crisis – from stories of child abuse and neglect-related deaths, to reports of over-medicated children, and others sent hundreds of miles from home.  

A foster care official who worked with countless Texas kids and young adults for two decades has died. Jerry Sullivan was only 44.

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

Holidays can be tough for any family. But when family includes a child or children in foster care, the stressors can multiply. One foster mom in Tarrant County shares her story. (And just a note: We’re identifying the mother and her adopted children only by their first names, at her request.)

Pages