Thursday, July 14, 2016

Proposed Changes To CPS

BY AMANDA WEBER/NEWS 4 SAN ANTONIOTUESDAY, JULY 12TH 2016





Commissioner Hank Whitman has been on the job with the Department of Family and Protective Services for just two months. Tuesday he laid out a ten point plan he says will change the future of the Texas Child Welfare System.

The Children's Shelter of San Antonio provided foster home care last year for 291 children ranging in age from infant to 18 years.

"90 percent of children taken out of the homes is provided care by places like children's shelter," said President and CEO of The Children's Shelter, Annette Rodriguez.

Annette Rodriguez, President and CEO of The Children's Shelter says a ten point plan laid out by Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner Hank Whitman directly affects their organization. In the plan, Whitman mentions emphasizing care for high needs children. Children who have suffered trauma and mental illness.

"The Children's Shelter offers therapeutic care, a residential treatment center for children who need more structure in a therapeutic environment to help them heal," said Rodriguez.

Senator Jose Menendez says the work load placed on CPS case workers is the issue that needs to be tackled first, he says some case workers have as many as 70 to 85 cases a month when the recommended case load is closer to 12.

"How do they see 70 to 85 cases a month and have a good knowledge of what is going on? That is where the focus needs to be," said Senator Jose Menendez

He adds experienced employees who can help new employees acclimate to a high stress, demanding job would also result in a stronger organization.

"If we could stabilize the agency, somehow and say, turn over has slowed to a normal rate, we are bringing more people on board, and now we are having some experienced case workers being able to help the young ones or the new ones," said Menedez

Rodriguez says the plan is realistic, she is optimistic for the future of so many children in need.

"I do think they are reasonable goals and again, I think he is looking at some of the most critical elements that are facing him today, I don't think they are the only things, there are probably other things that need to be looked at as well," said Rodriguez.

http://gov.texas.gov/news/press-release/22496

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