Tribpedia: Child Protective Services

Texas Child Protective Services (CPS) investigates reports of abuse and neglect of children and steps in to remove kids from dangerous homes. The agency provides services to children and families in their homes, places kids in foster care and provides services to help kids in foster care transition into adulthood.

In Fiscal Year 2008, CPS opened about 165,000 ...

Texas Child Protective Services funding gets final OK — with restrictions

Henry "Hank" Whitman, new head of the Dept. of Family and Protective Services, greets visitors to the House Committee on Human Services July 12, 2016 prior to his testimony on his vision for reform at the agency.
Henry "Hank" Whitman, new head of the Dept. of Family and Protective Services, greets visitors to the House Committee on Human Services July 12, 2016 prior to his testimony on his vision for reform at the agency.

A board of lawmakers has given final approval for $150 million in funding to help pull the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services out of its crisis mode — but there are strings attached. 

Hank Whitman, former head of the Texas Rangers and new chief of the Texas Dept. of Family and Protective Services, speaks to a guest at the House Committee on Human Services meeting July 12, 2016 prior to his plans for the troubled agency's future.
Hank Whitman, former head of the Texas Rangers and new chief of the Texas Dept. of Family and Protective Services, speaks to a guest at the House Committee on Human Services meeting July 12, 2016 prior to his plans for the troubled agency's future.

Senate panel proposes $75.3 million to start fixing Child Protective Services

A workgroup of the Texas Senate Finance Committee was willing to give Child Protective Services caseworkers $12,000 raises but balked at hiring all the new workers Commissioner Hank Whitman requested.

New DFPS Commissioner Hank Whitman, a former Texas Ranger, testifies July 12, 2016 to the House Committee on Human Services about his plans to reform the agency, including having the regional commissioners reapply for their jobs.
New DFPS Commissioner Hank Whitman, a former Texas Ranger, testifies July 12, 2016 to the House Committee on Human Services about his plans to reform the agency, including having the regional commissioners reapply for their jobs.

Report says Child Protective Service workers are overloaded, urges overhaul

The long-awaited report comes almost a year after U.S. District Judge Janis Jack ruled that Texas’ long-term foster care system violated children's civil rights. 

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner Henry "Hank" Whitman waits to testify during a October 26, 2016 Senate Finance Committee hearing.
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner Henry "Hank" Whitman waits to testify during a October 26, 2016 Senate Finance Committee hearing.

"Beat on me," foster care chief tells lawmakers. And they do.

Hank Whitman, appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott to fix the state's dangerous and dysfunctional foster care system, says he needs more money to get the job done. Some lawmakers aren't convinced.

Henry "Hank" Whitman, new head of the Texas Dept. of Family and Protective Services and a former Texas Ranger, testifies July 12, 2016 to the House Committee on Human Services about his new vision for the troubled agency.
Henry "Hank" Whitman, new head of the Texas Dept. of Family and Protective Services and a former Texas Ranger, testifies July 12, 2016 to the House Committee on Human Services about his new vision for the troubled agency.

Child Protective Services chief: We need 550 more caseworkers

“Texas children remain at risk," Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner Hank Whitman wrote. "This is unacceptable."

New DFPS Commissioner Hank Whitman, a former Texas Ranger, testifies July 12, 2016 to the House Committee on Human Services about his plans to reform the agency, including having the regional commissioners reapply for their jobs.
New DFPS Commissioner Hank Whitman, a former Texas Ranger, testifies July 12, 2016 to the House Committee on Human Services about his plans to reform the agency, including having the regional commissioners reapply for their jobs.

New Child Welfare Chief Asks Lawmakers for Cooperation

The new chief of the state's beleaguered child welfare system had a clear message for Texas lawmakers Tuesday: Time has run out for business as usual.

A 2011 photo of 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, Gary, Cassie, Sarah, Cynthia, Andy, Raquel and Lexi.
A 2011 photo of 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, Gary, Cassie, Sarah, Cynthia, Andy, Raquel and Lexi.

Child Abuse Case Resurfaces in Railroad Commission Race

Sixteen years ago, CPS staffers accused Gary and Melissa Gates of abuse and removed their 13 children from their home. That case fizzled quickly, but the allegations and ensuing legal fight continue to provide fodder for Gates' political opponents.

 

DFPS Commissioner John Specia appears before the Senate Health and Human Services Committee at the Texas Capitol on April 20, 2016.
DFPS Commissioner John Specia appears before the Senate Health and Human Services Committee at the Texas Capitol on April 20, 2016.

Lawmakers Hear Litany of Foster Care Woes

The state’s child welfare agency faces a $40 million budget shortfall, a critical shortage of good homes for foster children and overwhelming caseloads for staff, agency leaders told state lawmakers at a hearing on Wednesday.

Susan Rial, member of the Texas State Employees Union, rallies with fellow Department of Family and Protective Services employees at the Capitol on March 9, 2016.
Susan Rial, member of the Texas State Employees Union, rallies with fellow Department of Family and Protective Services employees at the Capitol on March 9, 2016.

Texas Caseworkers Call For Foster Care Reforms

A new group has joined the chorus lambasting Texas for resisting court-ordered reforms to its foster care system: its own employees who work with children.