Tribpedia: Dept Of Family And Protective Services

Tribpedia

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 ...

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

As the state weighs budget cutting options, 200 mental hospitals beds are on the chopping block.
As the state weighs budget cutting options, 200 mental hospitals beds are on the chopping block.

In Travis County, Aging Foster Children Find Aid

More than 16,000 children are in foster care in Texas. And when those children become adults, they’re often left to fend for themselves. But as Nathan Bernier of KUT News reports, the amount of help available to foster children in Travis County is on the rise.

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

Experts speculate that a key factor in the increase in reports of child abuse and neglect is the struggling economy. The number of reported cases of abuse has grown 6 percent in Texas since 2008, before the recession.

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, many with their careers and families hanging in the balance.

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. “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.” Instead, the father got shocking news: He would not be allowed to adopt again because his son 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.

Former Foster Kids Struggle to Get Records

Young adults who age out of Texas foster care often request their records to reconnect with estranged siblings, to track down biological families or to understand what they endured. But child welfare advocates complain the state routinely denies these requests, saying the records can't be found or will take months or even years to compile — assuming they respond at all. State officials admit they have a large backlog but insist they've beefed up staff and are putting new policies in place to address it.

State Considers Tougher Child Care Requirements

At a hearing today, the Department of Family and Protective Services will consider stricter caregiver-to-child ratios for child care centers — but improved care for Texas toddlers could also mean less income for child care providers and higher tuition for families.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of June 28, 2010

Grissom, Hamilton, and Philpott on the Texas Democratic Party's state convention, the two-step, the forecast, and the ticket; Galbraith on the political and environmental battle between state and federal environmental regulators, and on a new age of nukes in Texas; Burnson on signs of the times in San Antonio; Ramshaw on hackers breaking into the state's confidential cancer database; Aguilar's interview with Katherine Glass, the Libertarian Party's nominee for governor; Acosta on efforts to stop 'Murderabilia' items that sell because of the association with killers;  Ramshaw and the Houston Chronicle's Terri Langford on the criminal arrest records of workers in state-funded foster care centers; Hu on accusations that state Sunset examiners missed problems with workers compensation regulators because they didn't ask the right questions of the right people; Ramsey and Stiles on the rush to rake in campaign cash, and on political races that could be won or lost because of voter attraction to Libertarian candidates; and Aguilar's fresh take on South Texas' reputation for corruption. The best of our best from June 28 to July 3, 2010.

Criminal Records Don't Prohibit Child Care Work

Criminal records don't always exclude job applicants from working with the most vulnerable foster care children, according to a Texas Tribune/Houston Chronicle investigation. At Daystar Residential Inc., where workers forced developmentally disabled girls to fight each other, dozens made it through the state's background check process in the last three years despite records of arrests.

State Halts Daystar Admissions, Reports New Abuse

Texas officials have halted the placement of foster care children at Daystar and have assigned the Houston-area residential treatment center a state monitor following revelations of a staff-instigated “fight club” incident two years ago and a new incident that has come to light this past week: a possible sexual assault of a girl living at the facility.