The House Republican Caucus held a press conference on July 20 to discuss DFPS & CPS funding and the needs of children without placements.
This report is intended to give you an overview and highlight of the discussions on the various topics taken up. It is not a verbatim transcript of the discussions but is based upon what was audible or understandable to the observer and the desire to get details out as quickly as possible with few errors or omissions.
Rep. Jim Murphy
- Foster care system has let down the children of Texas, capacity crisis has worsened over the last few months
- Efforts are limited due to absence of some Democratic colleagues, but meeting with state agency staff involved with foster care
- Remain committed to ensuring foster care system will be funded according to Gov’s call
Rep. James Frank
- Bills passed during the Regular session will help bring costs down at the front end, measures will keep kids out of foster care, Sen. Kolkhorst’s omnibus will help, DFPS & CPS were fully funded
- Children Without Placements (CWOP) still need assistance, heightened monitoring has put more pressure on agencies involved
Rep. Lacey Hull
- Have an imminent capacity crisis, need to address shortfalls of providers
- Committee meeting was cancelled due to D walkout, Republican caucus met with providers today
- Seeing more providers pulling due to increased cost of complying with federal oversight
- Given revised CRE need to appropriate more funding to address issues
- Cannot pass anything right now despite urgent need, need to pass supplemental appropriations through both chambers
Rep. Jim Murphy
- House demonstrated concern for children in a bipartisan way previously, have same opportunity now
- State was very concerned about shortfall, but with CRE have extra funding that could be used to benefit children if enough Democrats are available
- What were some of the key takeaways from the meetings you had?
- Rep. Murphy – How hard it is for providers to keep employees, 40% turnover and difficult to keep people working in difficult conditions
- Have also lost providers
- Have money to fix it, but lack people to do this
- What will the money be used for?
- Rep. Murphy – To reduce number of cases they’re handling so they can focus on children in need; 415 CWOP children
- The reason we couldn’t get this done during the regular session?
- Rep. Murphy – Money wasn’t there during regular session, state has been doing the right things policy-wise to encourage revenue growth, now have the money to do this
- Response to ongoing lawsuits?
- Rep. Murphy – Court cases have led to increased cost, but year of COVID has built of tremendous unmet need
- Could these issues be translated to children on the border?
- Rep. Murphy – Yes, those children could be within the CWOP group