AUSTIN, TX— Senator Carlos Uresti passed House Bill 7 out of the Texas Senate unanimously on Wednesday. House Bill 7 by Representative Gene Wu and sponsored by Senator Carlos Uresti is a bipartisan bill that impacts every aspect of a legal case involving parents, children, and the Child Protective Services (CPS) system. The Texas house concurred on the Senate’s changes on Friday.
"When a family becomes involved with CPS, they deserve fair treatment and due process. The department must also have sufficient tools available to act immediately in those cases when a child is in a truly dangerous situation. House Bill 7 strikes that careful balance, and will ultimately save kids’ lives." said Senator Carlos Uresti
HB 7 requires CPS and the family court system to provide additional consideration to what is in the best interest of the children, and tasks the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to periodically search for potential family or kinship placements for children in foster care. HB 7 improves coordination of medical services for children in the foster care system, and strengthens the role of attorney ad litems and guardian ad litems as legal representatives tasked with advocating on behalf of children in a court proceeding.
"Among many changes passed during the 85th Legislative Session to our CPS system, House Bill 7― with its balanced approach to protecting children, preserving civil rights and providing transparency―will have the most notable impact on the tens of thousands of families who interact with CPS and DFPS. I urge Governor Abbott to sign the bill immediately." said Senator Carlos Uresti
HB 7 also creates new licensure types to help place children who are victims of trafficking in appropriate therapeutic settings.