Subscribe to receive our Floor Reports covering all the action on the Texas House and Senate floor!
Summary: Under current law, the Department of Family and Protective Services is required to have a flexible response system to investigate serious cases of abuse and neglect and to screen out less serious cases. SB 423 would allow the DFPS to conduct an alternative response to a report of abuse or neglect if the report does not allege sexual abuse, death, or serious injury. This bill would allow the DFPS to close a case without further investigation if the DFPS determines the child's safety is assured. This bill would require an alternative response report to include a safety assessment, a family assessment, and an identification of services to reduce future harm.
Analysis: SB 423 would make the state more flexible and responsive in dealing with reports of child abuse or neglect. Once implemented, the new system would allow the DFPS to prioritize its response to those cases that truly need attention and to bypass those cases which do not. On the other hand, this will expand the cost of government. It could be said that this legislation will cost the tax dollars in the near term to potentially save tax dollars in the long term. We are neutral on this legislation.