Commissioner Whitman Submits Letter Outlining Proposals For CPS Overhaul To Governor Abbott

July 12, 2016 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

At the request of Governor Greg Abbott, Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Commissioner Hank Whitman today submitted a letter that includes 10 proposals to improve the Texas child welfare system and Child Protective Services (CPS). The proposals seek to address challenges CPS has faced in recent years and offer solutions to strengthen capacity, efficiency and accountability at the agency. Upon appointing Commissioner Whitman to lead DFPS, Governor Abbott made clear the status quo at CPS is unacceptable and charged new leadership with providing a new direction and focus that puts protecting Texas children first.

“There are positive efforts under way to protect children, and I see an agency desperate to do great work,” Commissioner Whitman wrote in the letter. “The issues I am bringing to you today are challenging, and we have much work to do, but with your support and that of the Texas Legislature we can begin to make CPS what it should be: the protector of Texas children.”

Commissioner Whitman offered the following 10 proposals to improve the Texas child welfare system and CPS:

  1. Institute a new culture of accountability throughout CPS
  2. Require CPS regional directors to re-apply for their jobs
  3. Charge system with taking special care of high-needs children in CPS care
  4. Continue to implement CPS Transformation overhaul launched in 2014
  5. Partner with the Texas Department of Public Safety to develop a team of information analysts to gather information about households for caseworkers
  6. Ensure all CPS Special Investigators receive forensic training by September 2016
  7. Ramp up efforts to bring Texas’ faith-based community into the child welfare tent
  8. Strengthen the state’s investment in performance-based outcomes for foster care
  9. Maintain sharp focus on combatting human trafficking and devote special services to trafficking victims
  10. Provide young parents with the tools and resources to build safe, healthy households