For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Peter Clark, 512-417-9262
AUSTIN - Today Kate Murphy, Senior Policy Associate at the non-profit children's policy organization Texans Care for Children, released the following statement on the 2018-2019 state budget proposals filed yesterday in the Texas House and Senate:
"We appreciate that House and Senate leaders have developed draft budgets that continue to fund the CPS pay raises and new hires that are necessary to reduce staff caseloads and turnovers and keep kids safe. Their support for stabilizing the CPS workforce will improve investigations of neglect and abuse and provide greater support to children in foster care.
"However, the budget proposals have a long way to go if Texas is going to resolve the crisis in child protection.
"The House budget provides an additional $268 million to CPS while the Senate budget provides an additional $260 million. By contrast, prior to the legislative session, DFPS requested an additional $534 million for "exceptional items" in its 2018-2019 Legislative Appropriations Request and noted that additional "exceptional item" funding would be required beyond the $534 million to cover workforce investments as well as improvements to foster care and kinship care.
"In other words, yesterday's budget proposals would cover approximately half of the agency's incomplete funding request.
"As the Legislature continues to work on the budget, it needs to invest in creating safe, stable homes and effective services for kids in foster care or they will continue to languish as they move from one placement to another without the support they need. Legislators should also provide greater support for prevention programs that will help families stay together so kids don't enter CPS care in the first place.
"We recognize we are at the first step of a long budget process. We are grateful to state leaders for the initial steps they have taken to make child protection a priority and we look forward to working with them to get the job done this session."