foster care

Texas
8:03 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Volunteers Caring for Texas Children Need Financial Support, Report Suggests

A new report from the Center for Public Policy Priorities says more than 250,000 children in Texas are living with volunteer caregivers who need financial support.
Filipa Rodriques/KUT News

In Texas, more than 250,000 children are living with grandparents or other volunteer caregivers, but a new report from the Center for Public Policy Priorities suggests that many of them are not up to the task financially and could use more support and guidance.

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Texas
2:29 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

State Contractor Pulls Out of Foster Care Redesign

Credit Todd Wiseman/Karolina Michalak/Felipe Hadler

The private contractor leading the state’s foster care redesign initiative has voluntarily terminated its contract with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

Providence Service Corporation of Texas has notified DFPS of its intention to terminate the contract through which it was caring for 1,100 foster children in 60 counties in North and West Texas as part of the state’s foster care redesign initiative. An increased reliance on private contractors is pivotal to the department's redesign initiative to streamline the foster care placement process and keep children closer to home.

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Texas Foster Care
7:17 am
Fri July 25, 2014

After Child Deaths, Texas Lawmakers Examine Foster Care Practices

State lawmakers have had several committee meetings to discuss possible reform to the state's foster care system. Yesterday's meeting was the third in the past two months.
Credit David Garzon

Texas lawmakers have already convened several times this year to discuss rampant – and persistent -- problems in the state’s foster care system. On Thursday, another hearing at the Capitol took place to look into what can be changed.

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Sunset Advisory Commission
9:15 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Commission Hears Input on Fixing Major Flaws of Texas Agencies

The Sunset Advisory Commission's first day of public meetings about recommendations to reform state agencies took place on June 24, 2014.
KUT News

The second day of the Sunset Advisory Commission’s public meetings at the Capitol is underway.

Today, the public can comment on recommendations made in recent commission staff reports on how to fix major flaws at state agencies, including the Department of Family Protective Services. A June report [click here for PDF] of the Sunset Advisory Commission had about 100 pages of recommendations for reforming the department.

Sunset staff member and project manager Amy Tripp, who worked on the report, told lawmakers Tuesday that caseworkers complain about the punitive work environment.

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Texas Foster Care
9:34 am
Wed May 21, 2014

The Rate of Texas Foster Care Youths On Meds is Falling – And Could Fall More

A new Texas law could reduce the rate of medicated foster kids even more. It's been falling for about 10 years.
Liang Shi for KUT

President Obama recently called for millions in new spending aimed at reducing the number of foster care children being prescribed psychotropic medications.

In Texas, the percentage of children on these medications has been dropping in recent years, but concerns remain.

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Adoption
4:46 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Why One Couple Chose to Adopt Six Siblings at the Same Time

Michael, Jeremiah, Dominick, Jasmine, Aliana and Jermain Velez celebrate a birthday as a family at their home in Killeen.
Joy Diaz for KUT

This Thursday is Adoption Day, and about 6,500 children are waiting to be adopted in the Texas Foster care program. Last year, more than 1,000 didn’t find a home.

But a group of six Killeen siblings, the dream of staying together as a family — an unlikely prospect for many siblings in foster care — became a reality when Hipólito and Carmen Velez entered their lives.

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Child Protective Services
8:52 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Child Protective Services Launches Foster Care Redesign

Child Protective Services has launched a program, Foster Care Redesign, in North and West Texas (Regions 2 & 9) on this map. It's goal is to keep foster children closer to their communities.
DFPS

The state’s child welfare agency is launching a new program aimed at improving the outcomes of children in foster care in Texas. The project, called Foster Care Redesign, has been in the works for years. 

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Education
9:34 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Program Helps Texas Foster Care Youth Go to College - For Free

Loretta Edelen, foster care alumni coordinator with Austin Community College, shares college tips with foster care alumni at the Round Rock Campus on July 24, 2013.
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

Heading to college is confusing under the best of circumstances. But for many young people aging out of foster care, the challenges can be almost impossible to overcome.

Some schools in Texas host programs each year aimed at trying to help foster kids make the transition.

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Texas
4:32 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Foster Care Bills Signed Into Law

The bills aim to allow some kids to refuse certain medications and give advocates more access to needed information.
Lizzie Chen, KUT News

Foster care children 16 and older could refuse psychotropic medication under a bill signed into law today by Gov. Rick Perry that more closely monitors the administration of those drugs to foster kids.

Another measure signed into law today will give court-appointed special advocates of foster kids online access to their case information.

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Politics
5:00 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Bill Spotlights Medication Given to Texas Minors in Foster Care

A bill in the Texas Legislature aims to monitor the handing out of prescriptions to minors in the Texas foster care system.
Morguefile.com

Texas health agencies report more foster children take psychotropic medication than other children in Medicaid. Experts say foster care youth need it to deal with trauma and mental disorders.

But a bill in the Texas Legislature aims to monitor the handing out of prescriptions to these minors. 

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Texas
10:20 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Prom Rack: Taking Foster Kids to Prom in Central Texas

For the last 8 years, Prom Rack has been supporting foster kids across Central Texas.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Young foster kids in Central Texas had the opportunity to prepare for the Prom Saturday. From choosing dresses to taking etiquette classes, more than 150 boys and girls spent the day at Mount Sinai Church for Prom Rack.

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AM Update: 9/17/12
8:50 am
Mon September 17, 2012

AM Update: Occupy AISD, Cap Metro Budget, Foster Care Redesign

Austin education advocates plan to show solidarity with Chicago teachers today. There, classrooms remain empty as the teachers strike continues.
flickr.com/evmaiden

After a weekend of rain, your Monday should be mostly dry. On Sunday, most parts of Central Texas saw an inch to two inches of rain. Here's a roundup of some of today's happenings:

Education Activists Occupy Austin

Austin education activists plan to gather at Austin City Hall this evening to rally for the Chicago teachers strike.

Occupy AISD will rally from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in an event that organizers say will connect the disputes in Chicago to issues facing Austin schools.

The education rally will be part of a day-long celebration of Occupy Austin by protesters to mark the one-year anniversary of the start of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

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