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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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