Keep TX Kids Safe with Family & Out of Foster Care

Too many Texas children are entering foster care because their families cannot access needed services.

  • Of the Texas children who entered foster care in recent years, 2 out of 3 did so for reasons related to a caregiver’s substance use – a much higher rate than the national average of 39 percent.
  • From September 2019 to July 2021, 35 percent of Children Without Placement entered foster care because of their own unaddressed mental health challenges – not because of abuse or neglect.

Our new policy brief provides eight recommendations for ways the Texas Legislature can keep children safely out of foster care and with their families by leveraging the federal Family First Act (FFPSA) this session.

In particular, we urge the Legislature to expand the availability of mental health, substance use, and parent skill-building services eligible for federal matching funds under the Family First Act.

Texans support these steps. A recent poll found that 81 percent of Texans (including 79% of Republicans and 77% of Independents) support increased funding for services that prevent child neglect.