Creating Foster Care Capacity for Abused and Neglected Children

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Tiffany Roper /(512) 320-0222

January 14, 2008

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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 childâ€"essentially making the state the parent of the child. The state must then do for the child what any parent mustâ€"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 problemâ€"the state does not have enough foster homes. This policy page examines this problem and makes recommendations for capacity building.