Judge orders Texas to come up with plan to fix foster system

Jan 12, 2017

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Director Hank Whitman testifies at a Texas House hearing.
Credit Jay Janner / Austin American-Statesman

A federal judge has now ordered Texas officials to create several plans to fix the systemic problems that have plagued the state’s foster care system for years. Some of the proposed fixes will be due in as little as three months from now.

As The Austin American-Statesman reports, U.S. District Judge Janis Jack has given the agency a list of problems that need to be addressed. These include making sure an attorney is appointed to each foster child in the state’s care, ensuring that caseworkers see children monthly and lowering turnover rates for caseworkers.

In her ruling, Jack insisted that it’s the state’s job to safeguard the children it has custody over. She said the state of Texas has, to this point, refused to accept this burden. Texas attorney general Ken Paxton has repeatedly raised objections upon being ordered to fix the state’s foster care system.