Texas Supreme Court questions Gov. Abbott's authority to order investigations into parents of transgender children — but allows abuse probes to continue
Gov. Greg Abbott had ordered state authorities to investigate parents who authorize gender-affirming care for transgender children for abuse.news.yahoo.com
Lack of communication between child welfare and juvenile justice systems hurts foster kids, court monitors say
The court-appointed watchdogs expressed concern after learning that a caretaker accused of exploiting children at a state-licensed facility in Bastrop had been previously fired from a state juvenile justice facility for misconduct.
Bastrop shelter caretaker accused of exploiting girls was fired from previous job for misconduct with children
State records show Iesha Greene was fired in 2020 from a state juvenile facility for having inappropriate relationships with children. The Refuge said it was aware of her previous work there, but it never requested her publicly available personnel records.
Over 100 children have died in Texas’ child welfare system since 2020, report says
Most of the deaths were attributed to “preexisting medical conditions” or abuse suffered before the children entered the system, according to the DFPS report. The numbers are on par with those reported in previous years.
Judge loses trust in Texas’ child abuse investigation of foster care facility and calls for federal inquiry
U.S. District Judge Janis Jack said she is seeking a federal criminal investigation into allegations that children were sexually abused and trafficked at The Refuge, a state-licensed foster care shelter for victims of sex trafficking.
Texas child welfare official resigns, saying top agency leaders scapegoated employees
The former child care investigations director said there are agency-wide communication issues that led to a breakdown in relaying key information, but two of his staff members are the ones who suffered the consequences.
Texas CPS department’s culture kept worries about now-shuttered foster care facility from being addressed, official says
It was also revealed at a special Texas Senate committee meeting that the Texas foster care worker who allegedly sold nude pictures of girls is also accused of dating a child trafficker.
Texas Rangers confirm investigation into nude photos of children at Bastrop shelter but find “no evidence” of sex abuse
An attorney representing foster care children in a suit against Texas said Department of Public Safety director Steve McCraw’s conclusion that there was no evidence of sexual abuse despite the investigation into the photos was “both surprising and extremely troubling.”
State-licensed shelter where sex trafficking victims were reportedly abused ordered to close
The Refuge, which closed Friday, said it fired an employee accused of coercing the victims to sell nude photos as soon as it found out. The Bastrop-based shelter has not addressed the other eight staff members also accused of causing harm to the girls.
Texas’ child welfare agency ordered to investigate trans kids’ families has been in crisis for years
The Department of Family and Protective Services has been under federal court monitoring for over a decade for violating the civil rights of kids in foster care. Now, the short-staffed agency has to investigate parents who provide their children with gender-affirming care.
Judge temporarily blocks Texas investigations into families of trans kids
District Judge Amy Clark Meachum said the governor’s directive for the state child welfare agency to investigate parents who provide gender-affirming care to their children was “beyond the scope of his authority and unconstitutional.” The statewide injunction will remain in effect until the case is heard in July.
Kids in foster care who’d been victims of sex trafficking endured fresh abuse at a state shelter, report says
The children were sexually abused and neglected while at The Refuge, a facility located in Bastrop contracted by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, according to a report from a current employee.
Texas mom who invited Ken Paxton to dinner to meet trans son now target of state investigation – Houston Public Media
Amber Briggle is speaking out again, after making headlines for inviting the Texas Attorney General to dinner in 2016. Texas Child Protective Services is investigating her family.houstonpublicmedia.org
Texas foster care children exposed to sexual abuse, given wrong medication and neglected in unlicensed placements, new report says
The federal judge overseeing the decadelong lawsuit against Texas for conditions in its foster care system cut this week’s hearing short. She proposed all parties involved, including the governor, “cut to the chase” to identify solutions.
Targeting surgeries rarely used on kids, Gov. Greg Abbott asks state agency to determine if gender affirming care is child abuse
Medical experts say gender affirming care for transgender children rarely, if ever, includes use of the surgeries Abbott cited in his letter to the head of the Texas Department of Family Protective Services.
Pasadena Memorial seniors gifts nonprofit $15,000 worth of electronics for children in CPS
Due to a donation from Pasadena Memorial High School students, BEAR, also known as Be A Resource for CPS Kids, were able to significantly increase their reach this year, providing more than $15,000 worth of gifts. “We basically wanted it to be a magical night then Covid happened,” said Pasadena Memorial senior Maya Arredondo. The class of 2020 has shown time and time again what their hearts are truly about,” said Pasadena Memorial principal Jeremy Richardson. Hetmaniak said the students’ gifts were heavily sought after and brought many smiles to many teens under CPS care. Arredondo said the seniors were happy to give back and said they hope that the children under CPS care know how loved they truly are.
Public comments sought about new education laws
The Department of Family and Protective Services is seeking public comments on its proposed rules to implement two important new laws that strengthen quality early care and education. The Department proposes eliminating a requirement that no more than half of the required training hours can be from self-instruction or online training. Classroom training provides a check to the misuse of online training that can occur if a student borrows the work of another or receives weak online training that does not require reading materials to answer the questions. Research has not yet documented the efficacy of online training for an adult population with minimal educational attainment. You can view the proposed rules at:http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Child_Care/Child_Care_Standards_and_Regulations/comment.aspYou can submit your comments by Dec. 19 at MSC@dfps.state.tx.usPublic comments should include the following information: