Governor Abbott And DFPS Announce Action To Secure Safe Placements For Children In Foster Care

May 23, 2017 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today announced that the Office of the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division will provide $547,000 in funding to emergency shelters and residential facilities for support services to help reduce the number of high-needs children in foster care currently without placements. In addition to the funding, the Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS) is also announcing new contracts to qualified residential child care providers under the Emergency Procurement Waiver for Children Without Placement.  DFPS will immediately begin negotiations and establish standing contracts with the limitation that such contracts would accept children or youth who are otherwise refused placement.

“The number of children still sleeping in state agency offices is unacceptable,” said Governor Abbott. “We must do better, which is why I am taking immediate action to help resolve this problem. Ensuring safe placements for children in the state’s care is a top priority, and I will continue to work with the legislature, DFPS and all stakeholders to provide safe and secure placements for those in need.”

The Governor and DFPS are committed to solving this important issue by providing emergency funding to secure appropriate placements for high-needs foster children.  While this joint effort is designed to serve as a bridge to immediately secure placements for some of Texas’ highest-risk foster youth, DFPS and the Governor’s Office will continue to monitor and assess the success of the program throughout the length of each agreement.  These beds will be provided for the Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Lubbock, and Amarillo regions.

“I am extremely grateful to Governor Abbott for his continued generosity and commitment to protecting Texas children, specifically those in the State’s care who need our help the most,” said Henry L. “Hank” Whitman, Commissioner of the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). “A CPS office is no place for a foster child, and through the innovative use of these funds, and our ongoing efforts to build capacity, we hope to make it a thing of the past.”