The center is deeply committed to safeguarding Texas' six million children from abuse or neglect.

Recent Child Protection Publications

Federal Funds for Texas CPS (10/8/2007)

Texas relies heavily on federal funds to pay for child protection and foster care. Unfortunately, federal funds are often too limited or too inflexible to meet our state’s child welfare needs. CPPP’s latest policy brief describes the major sources of federal funds and their uses. It also discusses recent policy recommendations to reform federal funding of child protection made by the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care and other experts.

Testimony on Judicial Commission on Children, Youth, and Families (09/26/2007)

Yesterday the Texas Supreme Court held an historic public hearing on whether to establish a permanent judicial commission on children, youth, and families to strengthen court performance in child protection cases and foster collaboration to improve the child protection system. CPPP testified in favor of the commission. The archived tape of the public hearing is available at

Report: More Than 1 in 4 Latino Foster Children Lives With a Grandparent or Relative (09/20/2007)

A new national report finds that 26% of Latino children in foster care are living with relatives. Nationwide, 23% of all foster children live with relatives. In Texas, in open CPS cases, the percentage of children living with relatives is about 26%, though most are not in paid foster care. The large number of children living with relatives underscores the need to make it easier for more relative families to care for their kin. In Congress, legislation is on the table that would allow states to use federal foster care funds to subsidize guardianships and link relative caregivers to a range of services to help the children in their care. The bipartisan Kinship Caregiver Support Act (KCSA) would extend to relatives the same benefits received by those who foster children or adopt children from the system.

Celebrate Grandparents’ Day by Urging Congress to Support Relative Caregivers (09/7/2007)

Every child needs a safe, permanent family to help them grow and flourish. Grandparents and other relatives can be an important resource to provide permanent homes for thousands of children in foster care" but they need the same supports any other foster family gets. Common-sense reforms in Congress could help make this happen" if you add your voice to call for change. In honor of Grandparents' Day (September 9) call your senators and representative and ask for their support of the bipartisan Kinship Caregiver Support Act (S.661/HR 2188). This federal legislation would help the more than 124,000 children" 1 out of every 4 in foster care" who live with grandparents or other relatives. The bill would enable those relatives to become permanent guardians while maintaining crucial financial and social services support for things like medical visits, food, school clothes, and educational tutoring.

Overview of Major Actions on CHIP, Medicaid and Child Protective Services (08/1/2007)

CPPP Associate Director Anne Dunkelberg and Policy Analyst Tiffany Roper presented an overview of major actions on the Children's Health Insurance Program, Medicaid, and Child Protective Services to the San Antonio Nonprofit Council.

Analyses to Help You Prepare for the Conference Committee Budget Debate (05/1/2007)

CPPP has revised its overview of the differences between House and Senate state budget proposals for 2008 and 2009. More detailed side-by-side comparisons for Education, Protective Services, Medicaid/CHIP, Public Health, Assistive & Rehabilitative Services, and Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) are also available. Texas can afford to meet all its needs. Texas has at least $3 billion more in General Revenue that the legislature could appropriate. In addition, the legislature could redirect $1.4 billion in the House and Senate proposals that would only undo past payment deferrals. Undoing these payment deferrals has no purpose except to shelter money to pay for tax cuts after 2009. If the legislature appropriated this entire $4.4 billion to meet today's needs, Texas would still have another $4.3 billion in its Rainy Day Fund to meet an emergency of any sort.

Children Released by TYC Will Hit CPS Hard (04/11/2007)

TYC recently notified Child Protective Services that CPS must find homes for many of the children TYC is releasing. Almost 100 of the children at TYC are in the state’s conservatorship (meaning that before the child was committed to TYC, a court removed the child from the parent’s custody and gave responsibility to CPS), though we do not have a figure for how many of these are scheduled to be released. TYC is also asking CPS to take children for whom TYC cannot locate parents or whom the parents refuse to pick up. TYC releases will hit CPS hard because these TYC children are hard to place"a child coming out of TYC can’t go into just any foster home"and CPS already has a foster care capacity crisis. In February, 42 children spent a combined total of 52 nights sleeping in a state office building. CPS is now putting children up in hotels.

Privatization of State Foster Care and Adoption Services: An Idea Whose Time Has Come or a Disaster in the Making? (04/3/2007)

Child Protective Services (CPS) in the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) employs specialists who recruit, train, and monitor foster and adoptive parents and complete adoptions. CPS also contracts with private providers for these services. Some argue that the state should maintain this public-private system. Others argue that the state should use only private providers. This Policy Page explores the pros and cons of each approach.

Privatizing Welfare Services Would Put Profit Above Children: Austin American-Statesman (03/19/2007)

Earlier this week, Texas announced the termination of its contract with Accenture, the private company the state hired to enroll Texans in health care, food stamps, and TANF cash assistance. Although privatization was supposed to save the state money and improve services to families, thousands of the most vulnerable Texans were wrongly denied benefits and the state didn’t save a dime. Despite the failure of this privatization experiment, legislation is still in the works to privatize another essential state service -- Child Protective Services (CPS), the child welfare arm of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). CPS investigates reports of child abuse and neglect and works to protect these children.

Strengthening Child Protective Services: Comparing SB 758, HB 2140, and HB 3916 with HB 1361 (03/14/2007)

In 2005, the 79th Texas Legislature considered whether to privatize any or all of the child protective responsibilities of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). At that time, a push to privatize resulted in a mandate to completely privatize case management and substitute care services throughout the state by 2011, with the first region to be privatized by the end of 2007. After contract difficulties, however, implementation of this mandate was put on hold. This legislative session, privatization is under reconsideration. This policy page examines privatization and whether it is the best approach to improving Texas’ child welfare system.

Strengthening Child Protective Services: An Analysis of DFPS’s LAR and Senate Bill 758 (03/5/2007)

This policy page provides CPPP's analysis of the Legislative Appropriation Request for Child Protective Services, as well as Chairman Nelson’s CPS bill for this session, SB 758.

The Federal Role in Funding Child Protection: How Eliminating the "Lookback" Could Help Texas (02/7/2007)

Nationally, in 1998, more than half of the children in foster care were eligible for federal support, but, by 2005, fewer than half were"an estimated 35,000 fewer children. Experts project that the number of children eligible for support will continue to decline by about 5,000 a year. Many factors contribute to this decline, including changes in state policies and demographics. A new analysis by KIDS ARE WAITING: Fix Foster Care Now, led by The Pew Charitable Trusts, with CPPP as a partner, shows that part of the decline is the result of the federal “lookback” policy. This policy makes a child’s eligibility for federal funds dependent on whether their family would have qualified for support in 1996 under the rules of the now-defunct Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC).

New National Report: 35,000 Fewer Abused & Neglected Children Eligible for Federal Support; Texas Children at Risk (02/7/2007)

Over the past decade, thousands of foster children and the states responsible for them have lost critical federal support and this problem is only projected to get worse, according to a study just released by KIDS ARE WAITING: Fix Foster Care Now.

Judicial Leadership and Child Protection (01/22/2007)

Across the nation, child welfare judges are taking on a new role"participating in collaborations designed to strengthen the child welfare system, such as multi-disciplinary task forces or court improvement projects. As judicial leadership increases, however, questions have arisen regarding the limits on judicial leadership. When does exercising leadership to improve the system compromise impartiality in individual cases? This policy brief addresses the limitations on judicial leadership in Texas and discusses where judicial leadership is not only appropriate, but also necessary.

Lawyers and Child Protection (01/22/2007)

For years, many have complained about the quality of legal representation in child protection cases. In 2005, the Texas legislature addressed these longtime criticisms through Senate Bill 6 (SB 6), which reformed many aspects of the child welfare system, including representation of children and parents. Much remains to be done, however. The good news is that unlike many challenges facing the state, it is possible to significantly strengthen legal representation in child protection cases in a short period with limited funds. This policy brief provides an overview of the issues, discusses the new provisions of Senate Bill 6, and recommends additional ways to make representation more effective for DFPS, parents, and children.

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