Highlights of the Texas Foster Care Lawsuit, State Action During the Interim, and Next Steps

After years of litigation, Judge Janis Jack ruled in December 2015 that the Texas foster care system is unconstitutional. Over the past year, the media and others have brought to light significant problems related to both CPS investigations and the foster care system. In response, state leaders have demanded action from DFPS and taken some steps of their own. This policy brief highlights significant changes to CPS and foster care that took place during the interim and key recommendations the court is considering, including some that require legislative action and appropriations. This brief seeks to provide context and identify opportunities as state policymakers consider legislative changes during the 85th legislative session to improve the safety and success of children at risk of abuse or neglect and those already in the foster care system.

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