Texas Gov. Greg Abbott won praise last week for lambasting Texas Child Protective Services, insisting any child welfare backlog is unacceptable. His demand for “specific and substantial overhauls for swift improvement” drew passionate responses on his Facebook page. A sampling:
Kathy Medlinger Edens: Not just the investigation side needs to be overhauled, the conservatorships also need to be overhauled. Caseloads are way too high. You spend most of the time updating child and family plans (every three months). Monthly narratives have to be done from scratch each month. There is no time to see the kids and spend quality time with them. We are chasing down parents each month, trying to make contact with them. We have to try at least three times a month to locate them. I worked in Killeen for 3½ years and finally quit due to too much stress. I would be out until about 8 or 9 p.m. trying to see children. I still enjoyed seeing the kids, but I couldn’t keep up with all the paperwork.
Cathy Smith Rothas: How about spending a week with a worker in the field and see how the paperwork restricts their ability to spend as much time as necessary with the families, rather than having some program director shadow an investigator for a week? It’s easy to say make it better, but till Texas cuts some funds loose to deal with the mental-health issues, including parents who “self-medicate” and use drugs, nothing is going to change. CPS workers can only do so much. Increase the numbers of workers in the field. Pay them better. Reduce caseloads by increasing staff. It all comes down to money and there is just never enough to protect the most vulnerable.
Cathy Goorman DePorter: Finally you’re listening to citizens seeing all the problems. Funding is needed to hire professional social workers; smaller caseloads; partnerships with local authorities; better screening of foster homes; and working with schools to make sure foster kids keep up with their grades.
Christina Marie: CPS needs to stop targeting conservative home-schooling families. It is an outrage this happens at all in a great state like Texas. They need to focus on the children who truly need their help.
Tina Howard Schoellman: They need to hire more people, get people who really care and want to make a difference. They need to target neglected children and at-risk children. They need to know which ones have warning signs (of trouble in the home). So many deaths with children, no excuse.
Wendi Skloss: That whole system needs an overhaul, some counties more than others. It is a hot mess. And the solution is not to just throw money at it. That will not fix anything. Very shameful that our most valuable assets are falling through the cracks and not being protected.
David Aparicio: Off the subject, sir, but why are hundreds of military vehicles on trains in Texas?
Tim N Jess Luebano: Military vehicles are constantly transported by train to training sites nationwide. It’s normal.