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 ...

New Child Welfare Chief Asks Lawmakers for Cooperation

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.

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.

In 2004, Davontae Marcel Williams, on the left, was found starved to death. Lisa Ann Coleman, on the right, is scheduled to be executed Wednesday night for her role in the boy's death. If carried out, she would be the sixth woman to be executed in Texas since 1982.
In 2004, Davontae Marcel Williams, on the left, was found starved to death. Lisa Ann Coleman, on the right, is scheduled to be executed Wednesday night for her role in the boy's death. If carried out, she would be the sixth woman to be executed in Texas since 1982.

Woman Executed for Boy's 2004 Starvation Death

UPDATED: A 38-year-old Arlington woman was executed Wednesday for the starvation death of her girlfriend’s son. Lisa Ann Coleman is the sixth woman to be executed in the state since 1982.

Foster care alumni discuss their experiences at the Education Reach for Texans conference.
Foster care alumni discuss their experiences at the Education Reach for Texans conference.

Few Foster Care Alumni Receive Higher Ed Benefits

Though the state offers free tuition and fees for certain former foster youth who enroll at public colleges and universities, relatively few take advantage of the opportunity — a trend policymakers are hoping to change.

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.