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Health Impact News Editor Comments
Texas has a corrupt child protection services that abuses children, and it needs to be overhauled with a new one. That was the ruling of a federal judge in Texas who wrote:
Texas’ PMC (Permanent Managing Conservatorship) children have been shuttled throughout a system where rape, abuse, psychotropic medication, and instability are the norm.
So the current session of the Texas legislature is discussing changes, but apparently the Constitutional rights of parents is not a topic that is being allowed into the discussion, according to this report from Briebart.com.
Questions Over Parents’ Constitutional Rights Suppressed in Texas CPS Reform Hearing
Two Texas House hearings have been held to address nightmares with the Texas Child Protective Services agency. During one of those hearings, a state representative who was chairman of the committee, angrily shut-out a discussion of the due process and other constitutional rights of parents.
Today, new DFPS Commissioner Hank Whitman submitted some proposals, at the request of Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Whitman, a former Texas Rangers Chief, was appointed to the position by the governor in April. He also appointed a 17-year CPS veteran, Kristene Blackstone to serve as assistant commissioner, Breitbart Texas reported.
Whitman’s letter includes ten proposals to improve the Child Protective Services agency (CPS) and the child welfare system in the Lone Star State. These suggestions are designed to address problems with the agency. According to a statement received by Breitbart Texas from the Governor’s office, the solutions are designed “to strengthen capacity, efficiency, and accountability at the agency.”
The following ten proposals are contained within the new Commissioner’s letter (displayed below):
- Institute a new culture of accountability throughout CPS;
- Require CPS regional directors to re-apply for their jobs;
- Charge system with taking special care of high-needs children in CPS care;
- Continue to implement CPS Transformation overhaul launched in 2014;
- Partner with the Texas Department of Public Safety to develop a team of information analysts to gather information about households for caseworkers;
- Ensure all CPS Special Investigators receive forensic training by September 2016;
- Ramp up efforts to bring Texas’ faith-based community into the child welfare tent;
- Strengthen the state’s investment in performance-based outcomes for foster care;
- Maintain sharp focus on combating human trafficking and devote special services to trafficking victims; and
- Provide young parents with the tools and resources to build safe, healthy households.
At the time of Whitman’s appointment, the Texas Governor said that
“The status quo at CPS is unacceptable. Our children are too important to suffer through the challenges they’ve faced. I’ve insisted on overhauling a broken system.” Abbott added, “I applaud the leadership changes that will provide a new direction and focus that puts protecting children first.”
Today the governor emphatically stated that “Upon appointing Commissioner Whitman to lead DFPS, [I] made clear the status quo at CPS is unacceptable and charged new leadership with providing a new direction and focus that puts protecting Texas children first.”
In both hearings, representatives discussed what reforms are needed, and whether retired police officers and teachers should be considered for employment positions at the agency. Republican Rep. Dustin Burrows from Lubbock asked about the latter, as well as about the role that faith based organizations could play in fixing the embattled foster care system.
On Thursday, Garnet Coleman, a Democrat representative from Houston who serves as chair of the Texas House County Affairs Committee, would not allow Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford) to ask child protective services representatives who were testifying for Harris County, about the constitutional and due process rights of parents when they are caught up in the system.
Stickland told Breitbart Texas,
“While seeking to reform Child Protective Services, we need to be careful that those that are in the mess are not part of fixing it.” As to Rep. Coleman’s shutting Rep. Stickland down in asking questions, Stickland added, “I am convinced that the constitutional rights of parents do matter,” he emphasized. “It must be part of the process.”
“Parents have a fundamental constitutional right to direct the care, control, and upbringing of their children, and this very much comes into consideration when parents are under CPS investigation.” He explained, “CPS caseworkers and employees seem to think that parents have no rights. A parent or parents being investigated for abuse or neglect are frequently treated as if they have less due process rights than a criminal in the court system.” He said, “I think it is important for any decision where the government can have an impact on the relationship between a parent and a child for there to be the freedom of a robust discussion of the constitutional rights of parents as it relates to their children.”
“I believe constituents would be very concerned if a state official tried to silence or censor discussion about parental rights when making decision about CPS or accountability for the government. Hostility toward parents or the religious faith of parents by elected officials is a growing concern and the public deserves to hear more about this issue, not less.”
Read the full story at Briebart.com.
Comment on this article at Medical Kidnap.
Other Articles Regarding Texas Foster Care and Child Protection Services:
Is This What Has Become of America? Texas Citizens Have 3 Children Seized at Airport for Wanting to Visit Dying Mother
Innocence Destroyed: Case Against Texas Homeschool Family Dismissed as Traumatized Children Try to Rebuild Their Lives
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