Proposal cuts $130 million from Texas health agency to ease coronavirus-battered budget

July 9, 2020 The Statesman

State officials have proposed cutting $133 million in health services from the current budget, whittling away dollars in women’s health, child abuse protection and services for adults and children with disabilities, according to advocates.

The cuts are in response to a May 20 directive from Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen to state agencies to cut 5% from their current two-year budgets as the state grapples with the spread of the coronavirus and a weakening economy. The proposal by Texas Health and Human Services Commission, which consumes the largest portion of the state’s spending after education, could potentially reverse legislative requirements to better oversee child care facilities and court-ordered mandates to improve the state’s beleaguered foster care system.

The proposal is also sparse on details about how women’s health, family violence prevention programs and services for individuals with traumatic brain injuries — all mentioned as possible cuts — would be affected.

Full article here.

Texas organizations urge Congress to act swiftly to address impacts on children and families caused by the Covid-19 pandemic

Texas organizations are among more than 570 national, state and local organizations that are urging Congress for emergency child welfare support to address the COVID-19 crisis. Read letter here.

Buckner Children and Family Services, Inc.
McCulloch County Child Welfare Board
Texans Care for Children
Texas Alliance of Child and Family Services
Texas Pediatric Society
TexProtects, Prevent Child Abuse Texas
The Children’s Shelter
The SAFE Alliance
United Way of Metropolitan Dallas
Upbring

El Paso foster families make adjustments to care for kids during pandemic

KFox14

April 15, 2020

Right now, Child Protective Services is working with us to figure out how we can provide orientation practices for families who are looking to become foster families. We’re continuing with the families that were already in the process in order to get all of their licensing measures met,” said Joy Petty, the foster care programs director at the El Paso Center for Children.

Petty says they are in need of personal protective equipment, including some essentials like hand sanitizer and disinfectant for the kids and families.

Article here.

Kids in foster care? Coronavirus prompts courts to halt family visits, dealing harsh blow

March 31, 2020

USA Today

Biological parents battling to regain custody of children in foster care could lose crucial bonding time and see reunification stymied as dependency courts nationwide cancel hearings and suspend face-to-face family visits over coronavirus concerns. …

The visitation suspensions — issued in counties across Texas, Florida, Nebraska and Maine, among others — are temporary. Some courts stipulate that in-person visits may continue if all parties agree to proceed.

Link here.