Texas should tell parents their rights when it investigates child abuse claims, lawmaker proposes
Most reports of child abuse or neglect turn out to be unfounded. But while under investigation, parents with little understanding of their rights or the process often make decisions that could impact the fate of their families.
Texas’ child welfare agency told staffers to keep quiet about gender-affirming care investigations, documents show
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services leaders instructed employees to avoid written communications about the cases and barred low-level employees from handling the investigations, according to internal agency communications.
Judge plans to levy “substantial fines” after Texas failed to comply with court-ordered fixes to its foster care system
The judge in the 11-year federal lawsuit against Texas said the state has not properly punished or shut down unsafe child care placement facilities or curbed the rate of children who are sexually victimized while in the state’s care.
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 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.”
“They’re talking about how my existence is child abuse”: Trans teen fears crackdown on gender-affirming health care
Speakers at South by Southwest decried attempts by Texas officials to open child abuse investigations into families whose kids have used treatments like puberty blockers and hormone therapy.
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.
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.