Tribpedia: Dept Of Family And Protective Services

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) is charged with protecting children, the elderly, and adults with disabilities from abuse, neglect and mistreatment. The agency monitors care and conditions in private homes and in state facilities, investigates abuse and neglect, and licenses group homes and day-care centers.

DFPS, which has 6,800 employees in 250 offices across the ...

Murdered Houston Family Well Known to CPS

The six children found murdered along with two adults in Houston over the weekend were no strangers to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, which investigated at least four complaints about their care dating back 2011, and temporarily took the children into foster care two years later. 

Child Protective Services caseworker Juan Carlos Pacheco rents a spare bedroom in his childhood friend's home in Odessa. He has also lived in a trailer with five other people and a one-bedroom apartment with six other people. His own family lives in El Paso.
Child Protective Services caseworker Juan Carlos Pacheco rents a spare bedroom in his childhood friend's home in Odessa. He has also lived in a trailer with five other people and a one-bedroom apartment with six other people. His own family lives in El Paso.

Midland-Area Housing Crunch Hurts Foster Care Oversight

The oil boom has brought jobs and prosperity to Midland and Odessa, but it has also driven up housing prices, making it difficult for the Department of Family and Protective Services to hire caseworkers. The challenge comes at a time when the agency is under pressure to fill jobs after the deaths of two foster children.

 

El Paso Struggles With Lack of English-Speaking Foster Homes

On the heels of an expansion of Fort Bliss in recent years, El Paso is seeing an increase in the number of children who can't be placed in foster homes because there aren't enough English-speaking homes available. It's a unique problem that stems from the demographic disparity between the population in the city and on the base.

John Specia (left), the commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, and Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek testify Feb. 20, 2014, at a Senate Health and Human Services Committee hearing.
John Specia (left), the commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, and Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek testify Feb. 20, 2014, at a Senate Health and Human Services Committee hearing.

Data Effort Aims to Help Reduce Child Deaths

The Department of Family and Protective Services has ramped up its efforts to conduct predictive data analysis and reduce the high turnover of CPS caseworkers, the agency’s commissioner told a panel of senators on Thursday.

U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Beaumont, testified at a 2013 hearing in Washington, D.C., on failures in foster care that can lead to sex trafficking.
U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Beaumont, testified at a 2013 hearing in Washington, D.C., on failures in foster care that can lead to sex trafficking.

Congressional Hearing Targets Failures in Foster Care

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Failures in the foster care system put children in Texas and across the nation at greater risk of falling into the sex trade, activists and lawmakers asserted Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

Rate of Foster Kids on Psychotropic Drugs Falls

Though reforms have improved the state’s health care system for foster children, child welfare advocates say, the rate of foster children prescribed psychotropic drugs remains high. This report includes graphs that provide a detailed look at pyschotropic drug prescriptions given to foster children in Texas.

Senate Committee Tackles Rural Child Welfare

Child Protective Services officials got an earful on Wednesday at a Senate hearing on improving the caseworker retention and turnover rates in rural communities. And they got a minor scolding from Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, who assumed they would come armed with more data and possible solutions than they did. 

The Emergency Shelter for Teen Mothers and Young Children-one of several protective care units at the Austin Children's Shelter, Thursday, November 17, 2011.
The Emergency Shelter for Teen Mothers and Young Children-one of several protective care units at the Austin Children's Shelter, Thursday, November 17, 2011.

Abuse Reports in Texas Increase as Economy Falters

More children than ever are living in poverty in Texas, and experts speculate that the seemingly unending recession is a key factor in the increase in reports of child abuse and neglect statewide. The number of reported cases of abuse has grown 6 percent in Texas since 2008, and service providers are struggling to keep up with the need for help.

Parents Melissa and Gary Gates with seven of their 13 children on the Gates' 150-acre property in Richmond, Texas. From left to right: Melissa, Marcus, 15; Gary; Cassie, 18; Sarah, 28; Cynthia, 20; Andy, 18; Raquel, 20; and Lexi, 16.
Parents Melissa and Gary Gates with seven of their 13 children on the Gates' 150-acre property in Richmond, Texas. From left to right: Melissa, Marcus, 15; Gary; Cassie, 18; Sarah, 28; Cynthia, 20; Andy, 18; Raquel, 20; and Lexi, 16.

Accused in Texas Face Long Wait to Fight Abuse Label

More than 2,000 people listed in a statewide database of people who mistreat children are caught in a backlog of cases waiting for appeals. The accused say they're effectively blacklisted, their lives put on hold. State officials say the backlog is a safety issue that could potentially endanger children.

House: Foster Kids Must Get Records Faster

Responding to a Texas Tribune article about young adults who age out of foster care being denied their records, House lawmakers passed a bill today to require the prompt release of case files following a child's discharge from foster care.  

James and his adoptive son wait to board the DART train in Dallas on January 30, 2011. The son, who is 15, is on a state registry of people who abuse children.
James and his adoptive son wait to board the DART train in Dallas on January 30, 2011. The son, who is 15, is on a state registry of people who abuse children.

Texas Keeps Registry of Kids Who Abuse Kids

“Dear future son,” the North Texas father wrote in a prospective adoption letter filled with promises of family bike rides and summer road trips. “I am a single dad who adopted a middle school boy in 2008. Now we are looking for one more kid so he will have a brother.” But the father never got custody of a second child. Instead, he received a phone call from a child placement agency with shocking news: He couldn't adopt again because his son, who was sexually abused and beaten by his biological parents, is on a state registry of people who abuse children.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of Sept. 13, 2010

Ramsey on the fourth University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll (with insights into the statewide races, issues, the budget, and Texans' view of the national scene), Hamilton and Thevenot in Galveston on the anniversary of Hurricane Ike, Ramshaw on secret hearings that separate children from their guardians, Hu on what former state Rep. Bill Zedler did for doctor-donors who were under investigation, Aguilar on the troubles around Mexico's bicentennial, Galbraith talks coal and wind with the head of the Sierra Club, E. Smith interviews state Rep. Debbie Riddle about tourism babies and godless liberals, Grissom on why complaints about city jails go unaddressed, Philpott on the debate that will apparently never happen and Stiles continues to put the major-party gubernatorial candidates on the map: The best of our best from September 13 to 17, 2010.