CHILD PROTECTION


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

Recent Child Protection Publications

State’s New Managed Health Care Model for Foster Children (11/17/2008)

Senate Bill 6 in 2005 directed HHSC to create a new health care delivery model to provide foster children with comprehensive services, a “medical home,” and coordinated access to care. HHSC worked with the DFPS to develop STAR Health, a new Medicaid managed-care model for foster children, which was implemented on April 1, 2008. This report explores the initial implementation of the program and STAR Health’s potential to improve health outcomes for foster children.

New Federal Foster Care Legislation: What It Means for Texas (11/3/2008)

On October 7, 2008, the President signed the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (H.R. 6893). The act overhauls the federal child welfare structure for the first time since the Adoptions and Safe Families Act in 1997. The law contains new requirements, changes federal financing for adoptions, and provides additional financial assistance for various optional programs. For Texas, none of the changes require new legislation, though the state must appropriate additional funding to fully benefit from the provisions of the new act. This policy paper discusses provisions of the federal legislation and the potential for helping Texas children.

CPPP Applauds Presidential Signing of Legislation to Shore Up Foster Care and Adoptions in The U.S. (10/8/2008)

The Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) today applauded presidential signing of the Fostering Connection to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act. The Act contains substantial improvements to the U.S. foster care system. Without this legislation, our nation’s current federal adoptions incentives program would have expired this month.

CPPP Hails U.S. Senate Passage of Adoption Incentives Bill, Urges Quick Presidential Action (09/23/2008)

The Center for Public Policy Priorities today announced that the U.S. Senate passed the Fostering Connection to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act, which contains sweeping and comprehensive improvements to the U.S. foster care system. Without this legislation, our nation’s current federal adoptions incentives program would expire on September 30.

Drawing the Line between Public and Private Responsibility in Child Welfare: The Texas Debate (09/4/2008)

Protecting children and strengthening families is difficult, complicated work. Doing it well requires successfully engaging the entire community"both the public and private sectors. In this report, we explore the issues raised by how a state draws the line between public and private responsibility, and we make specific policy recommendations. The report compares Texas to the two states that have most completely privatized, Kansas and Florida.

Testimony on H.R. 5466 – Invest in Kids Act (03/6/2008)

Policy Analyst Tiffany Roper submitted testimony in support of the Invest in Kids Act, which reforms many outdated federal policies and gives states the ability to significantly improve their child welfare systems -- keeping children out of care and decreasing the amount of time that children who must be in care spend in care.

Report Card on the Education of Foster Children (02/11/2008)

The public educates children because of our common interest in ensuring that children become responsible and productive adults and to provide an opportunity to every child to achieve their potential. Unfortunately, several national studies show that we aren’t doing a good job educating foster children. Foster children have lower test scores, lower graduation rates, and less post-secondary education. This policy page examines the problem and makes recommendations.

New Report: Lack of Child Abuse & Neglect Prevention Costs the U.S. Over $100 Billion a Year (01/29/2008)

According to a new economic impact analysis by Prevent Child Abuse America, child abuse and neglect cost the United States nearly $104 billion a year. Child abuse and neglect are preventable, yet in 2006, nearly 68,000 Texas children"one million kids nationwide--were confirmed victims of child maltreatment. A just-released study by Kids Are Waiting, an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts, finds that the unavailability of federal child welfare funding for prevention programs and services is in part to blame. On average, only 10 percent of federal money dedicated for child welfare can currently be used to prevent child abuse and neglect. According to the report, 8% of federal dollars allocated to Texas for child welfare were used for prevention in 2006. Both reports are available at http://www.kidsarewaiting.org.

Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention in Texas and Nationally (01/29/2008)

The old proverb that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is especially relevant in terms of prevention of child abuse and neglect. Child abuse and neglect are preventable, yet in 2006, nearly 68,000 Texas children were confirmed victims of child abuse and neglect. Nationwide that number jumps to one million. While the federal government spent over 7 billion dollars on child welfare in 2007, most of the federal funding available for state use is restricted to spending on children who have been removed from their homes and placed in foster care. Little money is left to provide the prevention services that can prevent child abuse and neglect from occurring and children from coming into foster care in the first place.

Creating Foster Care Capacity for Abused and Neglected Children (01/14/2008)

When the state takes an abused or neglected child from their parent, a court names the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) the legal custodian of the child"essentially making the state the parent of the child. The state must then do for the child what any parent must"provide food, clothing, and shelter. Since January 2007, however, the state has had to keep over 500 abused and neglected children for at least one night, some for more, in a state office or a hotel room. Every region in the state has had to use offices or hotels, though some more than others. This is only one manifestation of a growing problem"the state does not have enough foster homes. This policy page examines this problem and makes recommendations for capacity building.

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