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Child Protective Services in Texas: Staff Report to the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services

NCJ Number
L Lemon; L McGiffert
Date Published
117 pages
An analysis of the services for abused and neglected children in Texas concluded that a substantial proportion of the confirmed cases are closed each month due to staff shortages, leaving children in potentially dangerous homes without any further monitoring and services to remedy the situation.
Data were gathered through public hearings held by the Texas Senate Committee on Health and Human Services in 1987 and 1988 and through reviews of other studies of the child welfare system. Information came from protective services caseworkers and supervisors, other professionals, parents, child advocacy groups, and many others. Although many praised the efforts of individual employees, they expressed declining confidence in the Texas Department of Human Services. High caseloads, frustration with agency management, bureaucratic policies and procedures, and questionable uses of existing resources were all sources of frustration. Thus, the main problems resulted from ineffective management and inadequate resources. As a result, children are not safe, the public is losing confidence in the agency, and the agency is losing its most experienced and dedicated employees. Major changes are recommended in policies, procedures, services, funding, and oversight. Detailed discussion of each recommendation, appended background information, and comments on the draft report are included.