Testimony to the Texas Senate Health and Human Services Committee
As you examine the process by which DFPS collects and uses data to evaluate agency performance and improve outcomes for children in CPS, Texans Care for Children we urge the committee to consider additional measures to ensure safer and more successful placement opportunities for children in foster care. Those measures include: comprehensive caregiver screening and assessments, effective training for all types of caregivers, and improved oversight and monitoring. Additionally, we urge the Committee to include in its consideration the collection of data that highlights additional safety concerns for children in foster care and their social and emotional well-being, including the number of children who are trafficked while placed in foster care, youth who have run away from their foster care placements, and pregnant and parenting foster youth. If collected, these data points would provide a more accurate picture of the quality of care, barriers to success for children residing in foster care, and opportunities for improvements. All three circumstances reflect occasions where these vulnerable child victims are not being adequately safeguarded while under state.