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 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.

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.

 

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.

Department Hopes Data Effort Will 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.

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.

Child Abuse Reports Up 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.

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.

Accused Wait Years, Face Backlog to Fight Abuse Registry

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.

State 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.

The Kids Aren't All Right

The budget draft filed last week provided the first glimpse at the kind of deep cuts that state agencies could see in the next biennium. As Matt Largey of KUT News reports, advocates are particularly worried about what the final budget could hold for the agency that protects children from abuse and neglect.

Crystal Martinez sits with items recovered from Child Protective Services at her home in North Austin, Dec. 21, 2010.
Crystal Martinez sits with items recovered from Child Protective Services at her home in North Austin, Dec. 21, 2010.

Memories Lost

When foster kids bounce from placement to placement, they leave their belongings with state child welfare workers — where advocates say they often get misplaced, given to the wrong child or even stolen.