Testimony to the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services
SB 11 addresses significant problems facing Texas’ foster care system including capacity, health screening, and foster care facility investigations. Many of the proposed changes will help keep children in foster care safe and healthy. Further, SB 11 has several provisions that focus on preventing child abuse and neglect in the first place, thereby reducing the need for the foster care system. Although SB11 is a strong bill, many of the solutions it presents raise questions that must be addressed to ensure the success of community-based foster care. We support SB 11 and look forward to working with you to answer questions that will strengthen the bill moving forward.
SB 11 Takes Several Important Steps Forward
SB 11 builds on the successes foster care redesign, referred to as community-based foster care throughout the bill, and addresses many of the significant problems facing Texas’ foster care system. In particular, SB 11 will help increase capacity, improve the timeliness of health screenings, and ensure foster care facilities comply with minimum standards. All these changes will help keep children in foster care safe and healthy. SB 11 also focuses on preventing child abuse and neglect in the first place, so fewer Texas children will have a need for the foster care system