P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 7, 2016
AUSTIN – The Senate Finance Committee Workgroup on Child Protection, appointed by Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, issued its recommendations today for emergency funding to address the ongoing crisis at Child Protective Services.
“This plan not only protects children in immediate danger but addresses the root problem of caseworker retention. We need to target our resources the right way, or find ourselves back in crisis mode,” Senator Nelson, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, said. "This is the first step of a continuing effort, but rest assured we will do everything we can to protect children. There is no issue of greater importance."
Specifically, the workgroup recommended a $12,000 annual pay raise for frontline caseworkers, which will be phased-in for new workers. The workgroup also recommended the immediate hire of 50 investigative caseworkers and 50 special investigators to ensure timely face-to-face contact with children following an allegation of abuse or neglect.
The workgroup, whose recommendations are attached, will next conduct a deep dive into the CPS budget and the agency’s appropriations request for fiscal years 18-19 in preparation for the next legislative session, as directed by Senator Nelson. Workgroup members include: Senator Charles Schwertner, Chair; Senator Brian Birdwell; Senator Lois Kolkhorst; Senator Kirk Watson; and Senator John Whitmire.