Rep. Stickland Releases His Report on the CPS Foster Care System
More Than Reform: The Current State of Child Protective Services
The Honorable Representative Stickland
I will soon be sworn into my third term as State Representative serving Texas House District 92. During my first two terms, I have been on the County Affairs committee where Child Protective Services (CPS) has been addressed in many different areas. About six months ago when high profile CPS cases started breaking in the news, I felt compelled to dive deep into the issues facing this area of government and offer conservative solutions, all while protecting liberty and some of the most vulnerable in our state- our children. It is my hope that we can be heavily involved in the process of CPS reform to ensure that life, liberty, and the future of our state (our children), receive the best protection and service we can offer. Since beginning this quest, my staff and I performed approximately 50 interviews with stakeholders, conducted hundreds of hours of research, and attended hearings across the state. These efforts have culminated in the following report. This report has been highly condensed and does not cover all the shortcomings of CPS, but pinpoints some key issues that will help turn CPS around.
- No Execution of Vision and Goals
- Lack of Accountability
- No Trust in Leadership
- Improve Communication
- R. Department
- Cultivate Positive Culture
Throughout CPS, there is a lack of communication for both vision and goals, as well as a lack of unity. These goals are set by the leadership, but never make it down to the caseworker. This causes extensive problems, because what is actually happening throughout the department does not reflect the vision, goals, and policies of the department. Just last month, the media reported on the incredible number of high priority children not being seen, even though it is the policy of the department to see these children within 24 hours. The lack of accountability has been ongoing and needs to be taken seriously. The great divide comes between the caseworkers and management. Surveys show the lack of trust caseworkers have in their supervisors and even how supervisors often resorted to threats to try and improve their performance.1
CPS needs to create a human resources department that communicates how expectations, policy changes, and new rulings affect their work. DFPS needs a department that seeks to repair relationships and ensure a positive work environment for all. The culture within CPS is toxic, and the retention rates reflect that. Now, CPS will never be a stress-free environment due to the nature of the job, but there are improvements that can be made to the culture of CPS. The private sector has seen the effects of a positive work environment on the work being performed; look at Google, Airbnb, Amazon, etc. They all have created lower stress environments for their workers and, as a result, have seen an increase in productivity. Those changes start from the top.
Technology & Infrastructure
- Missing Key Features
- Insufficient Vendor Options
- Out Dated Technology
- Require Resource Saving Features
- Lower Restrictions for Vendors
- Complete Overhaul/Replace System
- Copy Nationwide Best Practices
In this day and age, technology can be an incredible tool to help increase efficiency, but if the technology is not up to date it can create more work and bureaucracy. CPS’s current database, known as IMPACT, was introduced in 1998 and updated in 2003. Nearly two decades later, this is the same system used today. IMPACT has been updated and morphed to try and meet the needs of the department. Yet all the changes have made it increasingly more complicated, causing some to describe it as a “Frankenstein system.”The current system is riddled with problems and confusion for the caseworkers, making it a chore rather than a tool. There is no auto-fill feature for forms. IMPACT requires repetitive filing for the same document. The program has a maze of folders to traverse just to find what you are looking for. IMPACT has no way to geographically track the children or the beds available for them. Caseworkers end up calling offices to try and find a placement. This leads to 60% of children to be placed outside of their county, and 20% to be placed outside of their DFPS region.2 When asked how much CPS spends on transportation, CPS replied that it is impossible to know how much they spend each year on transportation of the caseworkers and the children. This is unacceptable and must change. When the scope is narrowed to only travel reimbursements for caseworkers, it was found that taxpayers spend an unnecessary $46 million each year to transport children away from their homes.3 This could be solved with geographical tracking of children and beds. In addition, the lack of detailed information about the case is greatly hurting the children and their outcomes. Often children’s notes are generic and out of date. Simply checking a box might help the CPS output, but not the child’s well-being.
The IMPACT Modernization Project was set up into two phases. The first phase was scheduled to finish in the summer of 2016.4 However, the first phase has been poorly handled by the vendor, caused more frustration than progress, and is still incomplete. Phase one addresses issues with intake. It aims to create electronic reporting, and access for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and other guardian ad litems, as well as improve submission processes for background checks for certain providers.4 Additionally, a Reporting and Data Management (RDM) project will create a way to analyze case complexity and give supervisors a dashboard of caseworkers and cases. Phase two will continue to build on system improvements and ease of use, but does not add geo-tracking. DFPS has spent $1.5 million on this system that still doesn’t work for our caseworkers.2 Even after modernization, IMPACT will still be missing key components.
Many of the issues with the modernization project come from the vendor. Phase one was executed poorly and behind schedule. Phase two is going to begin soon, but DFPS only considered three bids, which includes a bid from the same company who was in charge of phase one. As we see in the free market, competition drives down the price while increasing quality. It is hard to get true quality for a good price with only three options. When we met with DFPS, they mentioned there were restrictions from Data Information Resource (DIR) that limited the field significantly on who could be a vendor with CPS. Yet after speaking to DIR, it became clear that DFPS and CPS set their own policies and requirements on who can contract with the agency. The IMPACT Modernization Project was set up for failure before it even started by DFPS’ restrictive policies. DFPS must lower restrictions to ensure qualified vendors can apply for the contract. If that means losing federal funding, it should be considered for the sake of our children. Every state has a database. Time should be spent looking at all the options and finding best practices. With the amount of money we have poured into this system with so little return, we need to start looking for a new system that will truly serve the caseworkers, which in turn better serves the children of Texas.
- Lower Intake & Removal Numbers
- Salary Increases & Incentives
- Career Ladder
- Improve Training & Interagency Relationships
- Allow Self-Defense Options
Caseworkers easily have one of the most important roles, as they carry the weight of CPS. The industry standard for caseloads is about 12 cases at a time. This was not true for Leilana Wright’s caseworker. At the age of 4, Leilana was bound, abused, and ultimately beaten to death by her mother’s boyfriend.5 The grandparents had made numerous calls to CPS. Leliana’s caseworker had 70 active cases when she was murdered. She died because there was no investigation performed by CPS.
It is simple, large workloads do not create a happy, careful, and efficient worker. Yet with CPS’s atrocious retention rates, it is impossible to continue to function without transferring the cases onto others while training a new caseworker to take their place. We must look at the intake and number of removals to cut down on the number of cases for workers as well. There was a CPS investigation into a mother who hosted a “chickenpox party” even though they are “not considered dangerous” and “they’re not illegal.”6 Another mother had her child taken away because “she refused to give her child formula preferring organic milk instead because she was concerned about the chemicals used.”7 These stories are not the only ones. A simple internet search shows the merit of medical kidnapping based on the sheer number of accusations. Texas laws do not help when there are statutes requiring medical personnel to apply an eye ointment, to protect against sexually transmitted diseases, on newborns with a class B misdemeanor as a penalty for defiance.8 When parents refuse this treatment, medical personnel often call CPS to protect themselves. The problem is these investigations are taking place while the children who are truly in need of help, like Leilana Wright, are forgotten. A shocking 69% of children taken by CPS were because of neglectful supervision.2 Justice Jack called out Texas DFPS by saying, “CPS is taking way too many kids that would be better off at home.”9 Joseph Doyle, Jr. of MIT studied the effects of foster care on children. He found that delinquency rates, teen motherhood, and unemployment rates were all higher for children that were put into the foster care system than for the children who faced the same abuse, but were left in their homes.10 When neglectful supervision is the case, we are better off teaching the parents than ruining a family by taking their children. FAIR, a program in Delaware, utilizes a private contractor that offers prevention and family-based safety services before they are ever entered into the state system. The numbers show incredible success with only 2% getting a repeat CPS call.11 There are clear best practices from around the U.S. that Texas should model to help reduce caseloads.
CPS does employee surveys to try and gain insight into the department. Survey respondents are clear about how they feel, saying things like, “There are many times surveys like this happen, but the only thing that happens is to make the job harder, not smarter.”1 A study is being done by the University of Texas on the new training program, called CPS Professional Development (CPD). It shows the new program is an improvement and caseworkers are better prepared for their job, but we are still losing 46% of the new hires leave before 12 months.12 It costs an estimated $54,000 to train a new employee at CPS. Training employees that leave costs the taxpayers $35.2 million each year.12 Texas simply cannot afford this. When looking at the reasons for leaving, the largest percentage left because of insufficient salaries, followed by unrealistic job expectations.12, 13
As a whole, the salaries of caseworkers have been untouched by CPS, except for a minor increase for inflation over a decade ago. The State Auditor’s Office did a Turnover Report that shows “pay and benefits had the greatest influence on state employees’ decision to leave.”14 Additionally, CPS salaries are 27% behind market rate.15 There was an experiment in Odessa under the Rider 35 program. They increased the wages to account for the cost of living in the Odessa/Midland area. Turnover rates improved from 47.6% in 2013 down to 28.8% in 2015.16 If we want to keep quality employees, it will require the state to pay them more. The entry-level starting range needs to be $40,000 up to $42,000 for CPS social workers. The Senate Finance Committee work group recently approved an extremely generous raise that exceeds this recommendation. With that said, this must be a package deal with safeguards to ensure better outcomes for the children in care. Will Francis of National Association of Social Workers said, “You cannot throw money at the problem and expect CPS to fix its policy problems.” Money alone cannot fix the unrealistic job expectations that are put onto the caseworkers.
Caseworkers are the workhorses of the system, and if we want them to succeed and do their jobs well, we need to lighten their load. Research shows that caseworkers who have just come out of training are not ready for a full caseload or complex cases.1 The mentorship program is helpful, but it has proven to not be sustainable, due to a large increase in work and responsibilities with little incentive.1 In order to keep workers and alleviate large workloads, CPS needs a staggered system with different levels of employment, like the private sector, creating a career ladder for caseworkers. For example, entry-level would start with training and then they become an “assistant caseworker.” After they have shown competency and ability to accomplish the required tasks, they can become a “caseworker.” The more experienced caseworkers are assigned the more complex cases, while the new caseworkers are assigned simpler cases. Once a caseworker has tenure experience, and has proven to be a good worker, they can become a “mentor” or “master caseworker” where they don’t have any cases of their own, but support and manage caseworkers below them. The system continues up the ladder to supervisor, etc. With the staggered system, the entry level would get paid the least, with gradual stair steps up the longer they stay and the more they grow. This would both increase salary and decrease the unrealistic expectations, all while supporting the caseworkers.
Right now, there are some incentives in place, but they do not motivate positive work habits. The $5,000 ‘sign on bonus’ for investigators after 120 days of employment was originally meant to be a retention bonus, but there hasn’t been any research on whether that has actually increased retention.2 After that, there are very few incentives to stay with CPS or to work hard. An employee who receives a merit-based bonus becomes ineligible for another bonus for months. Good work needs to be rewarded, not dished out equally like an entitlement. Currently, there is the lure of loan forgiveness. To increase interest and performance, it should be eliminated and replaced with a cash bonus to be used at their own discretion, because loan forgiveness distorts the market.
CPS has a new program to try and increase caseworker safety, the Safe Signal Program. It is an application with a cord that plugs into your phone. When the cord is pulled out, it will alert the supervisor that there is a problem. This seems like a good idea, but more often than not, supervisors are busy and unable to help. Further, caseworkers are not close with their supervisors considering “fear [and] threats” was the most common response to what a supervisor did to improve their performance.1 A supervisor is not going to be a person a caseworker wants to rely on in an emergency. If you look at the DFPS injury data from 2011-2015, there were only 17 assaults against caseworkers while they were on their way to or at a home visit. Realistically, 17 assaults in 5 years are statistically insignificant when compared to the number of home visits CPS does in a single year, much less 5 years. With that said, it is understandable for a caseworker to feel at risk, but DFPS policies do not allow a caseworker to conceal carry a firearm if they are a license holder. Employees that have their conceal carry handgun licenses should be allowed to conceal carry if they feel compelled to do so. In a true emergency, waiting for a supervisor to respond would be useless for caseworkers, dialing 911 would be faster, but self-defense would be the fastest. For two years, the Safe Signal Program is going to cost the taxpayers $611,000.17 All the advocacy groups my office spoke with said the program was unnecessary and caseworkers were not asking for it. Allowing CHL holding caseworkers to conceal carry would be free to the taxpayers and offer a better solution to personal safety.
Overall, the caseworkers’ problems are very fixable with proper guidance and accountability. The legislature needs to ensure proper salaries for caseworkers and create a career ladder for social workers. Part of that is applying the Rider 35 program statewide. Leadership within DFPS needs to ensure caseworkers are supported by their supervisors and have the support staff needed to keep caseloads at the industry standard. Caseworkers are our ambassadors to these children in need. We must ensure we have the best ambassadors possible.
Foster Care/Kinship Care
- Lack of Quality Foster Care Families
- Poor Focus on Kinship Care
- Kids Aging Out of the System
- Lower Certification Requirements
- Increase Kinship Funding
- Streamline Adoption Process
Reunification is the preferred option for both CPS and the child. Next would be kinship, and lastly foster care. However, the majority of CPS kids end up in foster care. DFPS projected foster care payments to foster families are going to cost the taxpayers $428,579,741 in fiscal year 2016.2 However, there is still a shortage of quality foster families. Right now, there are 336 Child Placing Agencies (CPAs). Each CPA has their own application, policies, and structures. Texas needs to unify and consolidate the process to apply to be a foster parent by setting up a single application on one website where each CPA can add supplements (similar to www.applytexas.org).
Kinship is the next best thing to reunification because it has proven to be the optimum scenario for the child where they experience less trauma. Studies show that “post-traumatic stress disorder among children exiting foster care is double that for Iraq War Veterans.”18 Kinship Care currently makes up roughly 40% of all formal placements. However, increasing requirements for kinship placement hurt placement numbers, as Judge Specia warned.18 Numbers from January 2015 to January 2016, show relative care placements “fell by 56%, while CPS removals spiked by 37%.”18 It is easier to place kids in a foster home that has already been approved, rather than making sure the kinship placement meets all the requirements. In order to make it easier to have kinship placements and to ensure we have enough foster families, we must lower the requirements. Many people are worried that bad families will be certified, but the larger the pool of families, the more options and better the opportunity for a child to find the right home. Every Child a Priority Program (ECAP) is a child placing database that looks at the characteristics and capabilities of a foster family and matches it with the child’s background and needs. Unfortunately, it is only used in one region. The DFPS Legislative Appropriation Request for 2017-2018 has asked for more funding to expand the use of ECAP.17 This would ensure the new foster families are paired with the right child.
Many times, families want to take care of their kin, but cannot afford it. Kinship Care currently receives a one-time payment of $1,000 and $495 for each additional child.2 After the initial payment, they receive $500 on their anniversary. 19 This amount has not seen a raise in over a decade when it was first introduced. 19 A program needs to be created to allow kinship care families to apply for additional funding where they can receive up to equal the amount that foster parents receive. This is especially important for single grandparents who are on a fixed income. Paying more for a stranger to take a child than the child’s own family raises questions regarding the system. Critics will say you shouldn’t pay a family to take care of their own, but people will always try and take advantage of the system. That cannot stop us from doing what is best for the children.
We must streamline the adoption process for children in CPS care. We should lower requirements for foster families to adopt and have them prequalify to be adoptive parents, so we can flood the market with options and match each child with a family that is the best fit. In addition, we should reduce or waive adoption fees for foster parents and parents who want to adopt kids in CPS care. This would simplify the process and encourage families to adopt children out of the CPS system and into loving homes.
- Uninformed Families
- Retaliation Against Families
- Medical Decisions without Consent
- CPS ‘Miranda Rights’.
- Actively Protect Rights
- Parental Influence & Consent
My office has always been an advocate of personal liberty and individual rights. Rights are not only for the people who follow the rules, but more importantly to ensure due process for those who are being accused of wrongdoing. The constitution is often forgotten when a ‘bad guy’ is in the crosshairs. Many parents are uneducated on their rights and are uninformed on how to exercise them. Countless families fear that if they push back against CPS, they are in danger of being implicated as guilty, or CPS will take their children for not cooperating. My office has listened to many parents who fear what CPS might do if they complain, but are desperate for help. The state is threatening to take children, and parents regularly give in because they fear the consequences if they don’t.
CPS does not inform the parents of what their rights are when they come to a home visit when they start an investigation, or when they take a child from the home. The handouts that they give the parents even use threatening language like “the law requires CPS,” “cooperate with your caseworker,” and they “are authorized by law.”20 They don’t mention laws and procedures, like asking CPS to get a warrant before entering your home for an investigation. Just as police officers read each person their Miranda Rights, CPS should be required to tell families up front their rights and that exercising those rights cannot be held against them. The Cummings family knew and exercised their rights and paid dearly for it. The family asked for their caseworker to disclose the allegations against the family, which is required by law, but the caseworker refused multiple times, lied to the court, and used homeschooling as a reason to investigate.21 The Cummings’ caseworker repeatedly broke the law and tried to make the family pay when she was called out.21 There was clear retaliation against the family simply for knowing and exercising their rights, and the children were the ones who suffered. Justice Jack encouraged the courts to hold strong in protecting individuals against the government when she wrote, “Courts nevertheless must not shrink from their obligation to enforce the constitutional rights of all persons […] because a remedy would involve intrusion of the realm of [government] administration.”9 An intrusion of government administration might be just what we need. Right now, there is an outrage against the abuse of power and the crushing of individual rights by some in law enforcement. There should be a similar outrage about the way CPS handles the same issues. CPS caseworkers all too often circumvent the law and families do not know any better. The legislature needs to require caseworkers to inform families of their rights, and allow families to give feedback to ensure caseworkers respect the law. Caseworkers who infringe on the rights of the people should not be tolerated.
Parental consent is something that needs to be respected in this system. Foster parents are allowed to make medical decisions when they have a child in their care, which is perfectly logical for emergency situations. Yet too often in temporary care, non-emergency medical decisions are made that affect a child permanently, like immunizations. Many families are deciding to not vaccinate their children for both medical and religious reasons. If reunification is the goal, that temporary guardian should not be making permanent medical decisions. Even non-permanent decisions should have input from the biological parents. As children are evaluated by CPS, they often receive diagnoses and are put on medication, many times against the will and wishes of the parents. Whenever reunification is possible, parents must be a part of the decision-making process for their children.
Through the recent changes in DFPS and CPS, there has not been any stripping down of the old and useless, but rather increasing and building on a broken base. As we move forward, it is imperative that we take great care in what we do, as to not further the damage inflicted upon innocent children taken from their homes. For the future of our great state, this is one area in which we cannot mess up. It is clear that a monetary increase to DFPS funding is required. With that said, throwing money at it has not solved any problems, as the Texas legislature has given more money every time they could. There must be requirements placed on the funds to ensure outcomes, not just outputs.
The Texas Legislature must put in place safeguards to ensure the leadership will guide the department in the right direction to protect the children rather than punish the family. Establish an H.R. department to start to heal the traumatized system CPS has become. An increase in wages and incentives for social workers is necessary to grow a qualified pool of workers paired with increased accountability of the caseworkers and their supervisors to ensure the preservation of the family unit. Kinship care requirements should be decreased and a program to help the families who cannot afford it should be created. The legislature should take note and increase funding for data proven programs like the Prevention Early Intervention (PEIs) programs and Family-Based Safety Services (FBSS) that have a track record of preventing abuse and neglect. Above all, policy needs to be created and instilled throughout the entire department regarding individual rights to guarantee they are respected.
If positive changes are not implemented, the system will continue down the path it has been on for decades. We cannot allow inexperienced and untested ideas to shape a system when there is so much research and data showing proven best practices. CPS is on the path to destruction; it is our job to turn the wagon around.
We would like to acknowledge some great work being done by our state’s leaders. Governor Abbott has led the charge by appointing new leadership to the department and taking a great interest to ensure change for Texas children. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has called out to Texas’ faith-based communities for help, which is key to helping find foster children good homes. Speaker Straus has made this issue a priority for the house in the 85th session, and has joined together with Gov. Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to call out DFPS and demand action to fix timeliness of visits. Commissioner Whitman has seen the value in Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) programs and has made a commitment to increase them in his 10-point plan. Without their initiative and support, this would not be a priority in Texas today.
Sources & Research
My staff and I have held numerous meetings with Texas CASA, TexProtects, National Association of Social Workers, DFPS and other stakeholders, as well as journalists who have investigated the issue. We also attended CPS stakeholder meetings, Legislative briefings by advocates, Kinship Care Roundtables, County Affairs hearings, Legislative Budget Hearings for HHSC & DFPS, HHSC committee hearings across the state. My office has been researching CPS for months. Listed below are the sources that have helped in our research.
- DFPS CPS Operational Review. Manchester: Stephen Group, April 28, 2014. Print.
- “2015 Annual Report and Data Book.” Social Service Review 26.1 (1952): 127-29. Texas State Department of Public Welfare, Annual Report, 1951., Jan. 2016. Web. 23 Sept. 2016.
- Expenditures for Child Protective Services Direct Delivery Staff (B.1.1). DFPS Accounting System. September 28. 2016. Print.
- Texas Department of Family Protective Services. Commissioner.Progress Report to the Sunset Advisory Commission: Child Protective Services Transformation. Print.
- McSwane, J. David. “When 4-year-old Leiliana Wright Needed Dallas CPS Most, It Failed at Every Turn.” Dallas Morning News. N.p., 09 Apr. 2016. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.
- Shadwick, Lana. “Texas CPS Visits Home of Mom Who Hosted ‘Chickenpox Party'” Breitbart News. 21 Dec. 2015. Web. 30 Sept. 2016.
- “CPS Takes Custody of 4-month-old at UMC, Parents Call it ‘Medical Kidnapping'” CPS Takes Custody of 4-month-old at UMC, Parents Call it ‘medica. Web. 30 Sept. 2016.
- Texas Administrative Code. Title 25. Part 1. Chapter 97. Subchapter F. Rule 97.136. 16 March. 1994.
- Stukenberg vs. Greg Abbott. Document 368 Case 2:11-cv-00084. United States District Court, Southern District of Texas, Corpus Christi Division. 17 Dec. 2015.Children’s Rights. N.p., 17 Dec. 2015. Web.
- Doyle, Joseph J., Jr. “Child Protection and Child Outcomes: Measuring the Effects of Foster Care.” MIT Sloan School of Management & NBER (2007): Print.
- “2014 Annual Progress And Services Report.” Delaware Department of Services for Children Youth and Their Families(2014) Web.
- Osborne, Cynthia. Child Protective Services Transformation Evaluation of CPS Professional Development and Enhances Supervision Initiatives. Second Interim Report: University of Texas at Austin Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, June 2016. Print.
- Francis, Will. “2013-2016 CVS FBSS INV.” National Association of Social Workers. Print.
- Keel, John.An Annual Report on Classified Employee Turnover for Fiscal Year 2015. Rep. no. 16-702. N.p.: State of Texas State Auditor, December 2015. Print.
- Hiner, Harrison. Higher Salaries Are Critical to Fixing the Problems within CPS. Texas State Employees Union. Print.
- McPeters, Pamela, Will Francis, Kate Murphy, Katherine Barillas, Andy Homer and Sarah Crockett. Strengthing the Capacity of Child Protective Services. September 8, 2016.
- Rider 31: Child Protective Services Staffing Fiscal Year 2014 – Fiscal Year 2015. Department of Family and Protective Services, 2015. Print.
- 2018-2019 Legislative Appropriations Request- Exceptional Items with Sub-Components. Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Print.
- Cassidy, Jon. “The Foster-care Fiasco in Texas.” org. Texas Bureau, 18 Apr. 2016 Web. 04 Oct. 2016.
- 79 (3) SB 16, 79th Legislature 3rd Called Session. Legislative Budget Board (2006). Print.
- “A Parent’s Guide To Foster Care and Child Protective Services (CPS) Investigations.” Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. 30 Sept. 2016.
Lambert, Tim. “Texas Home School Coalition Association.” Letter to Commissioner John Specia. 9 Feb 2016. MS.
Walters, Edgar. “More Kids Sleeping in State Offices Amid Foster Shortage.”The Texas Tribune. N.p., 17 Mar. 2016. Web. 23 Sept. 2016.
7100 Recruiting Foster and Adoptive Homes. Rep. N.p.: Child Protective Services, February 2015. Print.
ACH Child and Family Services. Our Community Our Kids Puts Foster Care Improvements in Motion for Children in Seven North Texas Counties. Sandra Brodnicki, 9 Sept. 2014. Web.
Blackstone, Kristene. “CPS Transformation Update.” Stakehold Webinar. 15 Sept, 2016. Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Web.
Bryant, David A., and Clay Thorp. “Investigation Highlights Need for Foster Care in Central Texas.” Killeen Daily Herald. Killeen Daily Herald, 16 Apr. 2016. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.
Children From Hard Places and the Brain. Karyn Brand Purvis, Tine Payne Bryson, and Bruce McEwen. TCU Institute of Child Development, 2014. DVD.
Child Protection Roundtable Preliminary Budget Priorities 85th Legislative Session. Child Protection Roundtable Member Organizations, 2016. Print.
DFPS Survery of Employee Engagement (SEE) Results Overview. Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, June 2016. Print.
Garett, Robert T. “Dallas Region’s Top CPS Official Retires amid Staggering Caseloads.” Dallas News. N.p., 05 Apr. 2016. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.
Garrett, Robert T. “Texas Foster Mother Charged with Murder Had Troubled Past, Report Says.” The Dallas Morning News. N.p., 21 Nov. 2013. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.
Gately, Paul J. “Toddler in Foster Care in ICU at Local Hospital after near Drowning.” KWTX. KWTX. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.
Langford, Terri. “Foster Home Crunch Strands Children in Psychiatric Facilities.” Foster Home Crunch Strands Children in Psych Facilities. N.p., 08 Apr. 2016. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.
Lilley, Jennifer. “Texas CPS Underreported 655 Children Killed under Its.” Natural News. N.p., 08 Feb. 2015. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.
McSwane, David. “When 4-year-old Leiliana Wright Needed Dallas CPS Most, It Failed at Every Turn.” Dallas News. N.p., 09 Apr. 2016. Web. 27 Oct. 2016
Sanchez, Jacob, and Ayan Mittra. “The Brief: CPS Problems Under the Microscope.” The Texas Tribune. N.p., 11 Apr. 2016. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.
Shadwick, Lana. “Texas Governor Addresses CPS Horrors and Abuses.” Breitbart News. N.p., 13 Apr. 2016. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.
Shadwick, Lana. “Texas Moves to Tighten Rules on Foster Homes After Abuses – Breitbart.” Breitbart News. N.p., 07 Apr. 2014. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.
Texas CASA Debuts Collaborative Family Engagement (CFE) Video. Texas CASA, 28 Sept. 2016. Web.
“Two Officials Resign from Dept. of Family and Protective Services.” KXAN. KXAN Staff, 13 Apr. 2016. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.
Prazan, Phil. “Child Protective Services Questioned after UT Homicide.” KXAN. N.p., 11 Apr. 2016. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.
Price, Bob. “Texas CPS Accused of Falsifying Records, Abused Children Died.” Breitbart News. N.p., 15 Apr. 2016. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.
Ragland, James. “Child Protective Services Needed to Get Its House in Order — in Dallas and across Texas.” Dallas News. N.p., 06 Apr. 2016. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.
Ragland, James. “Texas Can’t Hold Its Head High until It Fixes Broken, Corrupt Child Welfare System.” Dallas News. Dallas News, 15 Apr. 2016. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.
Rafique, Sarah. “DFPS Still Investigating Children’s Hope; State Audit Shows Recommendations.” Lubbock Online. N.p., 05 Feb. 2016. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.
“Rethinking Foster Care: Molly McGrath Tierney at TEDXBaltimore 2014.” YouTube. YouTube, 27 Feb. 2014. Web. 13 Oct. 2016.
Tinsley, Anna M. “More Must Be Done to Protect Texas Children, Lawmakers Demand.” Star-Telegram. N.p., 12 Apr. 2016. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.
Wallace, Randy. “6-month-old Baby Taken Away from Mother by Force Dies in CPS Custody.” Fox 26. N.p., 11 May 2015. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.
Walters, Edgar. “Abbott Names New Leaders at Embattled Child Welfare Agency.” The Texas Tribune. N.p., 11 Apr. 2016. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.
Walters, Edgar. “Caseworkers, Kids Trapped in Collapsing Foster System.” The Texas Tribune. N.p., 10 Apr. 2016. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.
Walters, Edgar. “Emails Show Abbott’s Involvement at Child Welfare Agency.” The Texas Tribune. )5 Apr. 2016. Web. 13 Oct. 2016.
Walters, Edgar. “More Kids Sleeping in State Offices Amid Foster Shortage.” The Texas Tribune. The Texas Tribune, 17 Mar. 2016. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.
WFAA Staff. “CPS Removes 3 Children Found Living in Shed.” KENS 5. N.p., 16 Apr. 2016. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.
Whitman, Commissioner H.L. Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Legislative Appropriations Request for FY 18-19 Joint Budget Hearing. September 22, 2016. Print.