Abbott, Patrick, Straus call for action by Child Protective Services

Abbott, Patrick, Straus call for action by Child Protective Services

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AUSTIN — Texas’ top three officeholders on Oct. 12 instructed the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to improve the protection of children at risk of abuse.

With recent data showing the agency is struggling to see children in a timely manner, Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus sent a letter to Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner Hank Whitman, calling for immediate action to more quickly help vulnerable children.

“Protecting children from abuse is going to be a top priority in next year’s legislative session, but there is a need for action right now,” Straus said.

The letter instructs Whitman to:

– Develop a plan to hire and train more special investigators;

– Develop a plan to ensure that DFPS has the caseworkers to handle the increase in cases and to prioritize hires in the most critical regions of the state;

– Develop a plan to address a shortage of foster homes and residential providers;

– Reinforce a culture of accountability within CPS; and

– Build upon ongoing efforts to enhance partnerships with faith-based communities.

The 85th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature will convene on Jan. 10.

Registration breaks record

Texas Secretary of State Carlos H. Cascos on Oct. 13 announced the number of registered voters was 15,015,700, an all-time high number for the state.

The last day to register in time for the Nov. 8 election was Oct. 11.

The 15 million-plus number reported by Cascos is about 78 percent of Texas’ estimated voting age population of 19,307,355. Voting age population estimates include Texans who may not be eligible to vote, such as non-citizens or convicted felons who have not yet fully discharged their sentence.

Cascos said the number of registered voters reported is preliminary, and likely will increase a bit as last-minute applications continue to be processed during the next few days.

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