Governor Signs Historic Foster Care and CPS Reform Bills

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June 1, 2017

Austin, TX—Flanked by members of the Texas Senate and Texas House of Representatives, Governor Greg Abbott signed a suite of bills to improve the lives of individuals who work for and with the Child Protective Services (CPS) system. The bills― House Bill 4, House Bill 5, House Bill 7, and Senate Bill 11―passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers.

"When Governor Greg Abbott added child protection and reform to his list of emergency items this legislative session, I knew we would have the opportunity and the leadership we needed to make monumental changes to the CPS system. In my twenty years of working on CPS issues, I have never seen so many members interested in championing the cause. This session was truly historic.” said Senator Carlos Uresti.

Senator Uresti remains a tireless advocate on CPS issues in the Senate as he was previously as a House member. As a co-author of Senate Bill 11 and Senate Sponsor of House Bill 7, Senator Uresti was at the forefront of reforms in the 85th Legislative Session, which concluded Monday.

“Senate Bill 11 takes the lessons and best practices we learned in the Fort Worth area's foster care pilot project, and extends those principles throughout the state. House Bill 7 rebalances the family court system to ensure that all parties―children, parents, judges, and the Department of Family and Protective Services― are provided with transparency, due process, and access to vital information.

"As a member of the Senate Committee on Finance, I also advocated for more money for child abuse prevention services, and for a continuation of December's salary raises for caseworkers that we worked very hard to win support for. We have both a moral and a legal obligation to these children, and I believe these bills, with the additional funding, helps us meet these obligations." said Uresti.