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 ...

Hank Whitman, commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, took office May 1.
Hank Whitman, commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, took office May 1.

Pay Caseworkers and Fosters More, New Chief Says

In a wide-ranging interview, Hank Whitman, the new commissioner overseeing Child Protective Services, explains how he thinks he can turn around a child welfare agency crippled by low morale, high turnover and a spate of high-profile child deaths.

Bari Greenwood, who adopted her daughter after she was removed from her biological parents by Child Protective Services, stands at the Rees-Jones Center for Foster Care in Plano, Texas, May 4, 2016. Greenwood and her family received services at the center.
Bari Greenwood, who adopted her daughter after she was removed from her biological parents by Child Protective Services, stands at the Rees-Jones Center for Foster Care in Plano, Texas, May 4, 2016. Greenwood and her family received services at the center.

For Foster Kids, a Push to Make Medical Care Treat Psychological Pain

State officials hope a new network of clinics will better connect foster children with trauma-informed behavioral health care.

Protestors left their signs on the fence surrounding the South Texas Family Residential Center near Dilley, Texas on May 2, 2015.
Protestors left their signs on the fence surrounding the South Texas Family Residential Center near Dilley, Texas on May 2, 2015.

State Sued for Licensing Detention Center

A nonprofit organization has sued the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services for issuing a temporary child-care license to an immigration detention facility that hold women and children from Central America.

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.

Gov. Greg Abbott greets Zavala Elementary schoolchildren in the hallway of the east Austin school on the first day of classes August 24, 2015.
Gov. Greg Abbott greets Zavala Elementary schoolchildren in the hallway of the east Austin school on the first day of classes August 24, 2015.

Emails Show Abbott’s Involvement at Child Welfare Agency

Six days after Gov. Greg Abbott took office, he faced the first death of a child under state care. Emails obtained by The Texas Tribune capture his staff's efforts, and frustrations, trying to fix the state's embattled foster care system.

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.

Jasmine Johnson, with 10-month-old daughter Rain, lost her Medicaid coverage and was told she could not re-enroll, even though federal law allows former foster children like Johnson to stay in the health insurance program until they turn 26.
Jasmine Johnson, with 10-month-old daughter Rain, lost her Medicaid coverage and was told she could not re-enroll, even though federal law allows former foster children like Johnson to stay in the health insurance program until they turn 26.

Is Texas Denying Health Coverage to Foster Youth?

Advocates say Texas officials are routinely denying health care coverage to former foster children after they turn 21, even though federal law says the coverage should continue until they turn 26.

 

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.