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Texas Senate Passes Meaningful Legislation to Protect Children

March 1, 2017

AUSTIN – Today, the Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 11, authored by Health & Human Services Committee Chair Dr. Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) and Finance Committee Chair Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound), to reform the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS).

The legislation ensures children placed in care receive timely and appropriate services, increases the capacity of the foster care system through the “Foster Care Redesign” program, strengthens accountability for providers attending to children within the DFPS system, and bolsters the standards for investigating abuse and neglect of children in care.

“The guiding light of our efforts should be what is best for the child,” said Dr. Charles Schwertner. “Today’s vote was an important step in improving the lives of our state’s foster children and ensuring that all children in Texas are kept safe from abuse and neglect.”

“This agency has been in a constant state of crisis despite funding increase after funding increase. We must protect these children, and make sure that this agency is reformed the right way – which is the goal of SB 11,” added Sen. Jane Nelson.

“The Texas Senate is focused on prioritizing our children’s safety and wellbeing. Sen. Schwertner and Nelson’s reform of the Texas DFPS ushers the resources and establishes statewide accountability measures necessary to ensure our children most in need are protected,” stated SB 11 coauthor and Republican Senate Caucus Chair Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston).

Senate Bill 11, one of Governor Greg Abbott’s emergency items, will now go to the Texas House of Representatives for first reading.

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