Week in Review – November 20

Nov 20, 2020

Foster Care and Child Welfare Week in Review – November 20, 2020

Here are some news items from this week related to foster care, adoption, and child welfare that caught my eye:

1. As COVID-19 Takes its Toll, Remember Kids in Foster Care (Commentary)

Let’s look at the Lone Star State. Comprising 42 percent of the foster care population in Texas, 21,469 Hispanic children were in foster homes in 2019. That’s more than any other racial or ethnic group. Children who grow up in foster care face higher risks of homelessness, unemployment, low educational attainment, incarceration, and mental health issues. Our communities must take the lead in caring for these children.

Week in Review - November 20

2. Opinion: Foster care in Texas working to fix problems, build on successes

The system that serves 32,000 Texas children in foster care is filled with champions – families who open their homes to foster a brother and sister, nonprofit caseworkers who tirelessly call around looking for apartments for newly turned 18-year-olds who would otherwise be homeless, state employees who work long hours in emotionally draining circumstances, and grandmothers taking in kids whose parents are seeking help for substance abuse or other problems.

3. Texas A&M University-San Antonio program helps foster, adopted youth succeed through college

Fernando Jacquez is one of the first students to graduate from Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s Fostering Assistance, Transitions & Education (FATE) program, which aims to help Bexar County foster and adopted youths earn a college degree. The program started in November 2019 and aims to increase college admission and graduation rates of foster and adopted youth. It has already helped more than 50 students in its first year.

4. CPS reform bill filed by Sen. Bryan Hughes and Rep. James Frank to add protections for families, parents

Texas state Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) and Rep. James Frank (R-Wichita Falls) filed identical bills in their respective chambers for the 87th Legislative Session aimed at clarifying the standards Child Protective Services (CPS) must meet in order to remove children from their families.

5. Tightened state budget will have ripple effect on child welfare

Tighten the budget: those are the marching orders as Texas faces a nearly $5 billion budget shortfall. The Trouble Shooters are finding out what that means for our most vulnerable Texans.

6. Amarillo CPS adoption event to unite 13 children with ‘no matter what’ families

Despite the challenges of COVID-19, child protective services is holding seven virtual hearings Thursday, giving 13 kids what they call their “no matter what family.” Matching children with new families was an obstacle this year.

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