P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 18, 2011
AUSTIN — State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, today received the Public Policy Leadership Award from the Texas Network of Youth Services for passing legislation to improve the foster care system.
"Redesigning the foster care system will help displaced children remain in their home communities where they have access to schools, siblings and support networks," Senator Nelson said. "At a time when we need to make every dollar count, it is vital that resources are allocated to systems that truly support children and help them grow up into healthy, productive adults."
SB 218, authored by Senator Nelson, overhauls the foster care system to encourage better outcomes for children. Senator Nelson also passed SB 219 to enhance access to mental health care to help children in foster care overcome the trauma and break the cycle of abuse and neglect.
The two bills build on Senator Nelson's longstanding work to reverse the dismal outcomes for children who spend long periods in foster care. Studies show that young adults who age out of the system are more likely to experience homelessness, poverty, depression and criminal behavior.
"Senator Nelson's leadership on foster care redesign and many other bills to protect children and improve our foster care system add to a long line of accomplishments in the child welfare arena," said Theresa Andreas Tod, executive director of the Texas Network of Youth Services.