HB 915

83(R) - 2013
Family Values
Health & Human Services

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Lois Kolkhorst

Bill Caption

Relating to the administration and monitoring of certain medications provided to foster children.

Fiscal Notes

Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for HB915, Committee Report 1st House, Substituted: a negative impact of ($1,148,349) through the biennium ending August 31, 2015. The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal basis for an appropriation of funds to implement the provisions of the bill.

Bill Analysis

Summary: HB 915 is an extensive bill that amends many different parts of the Family Code to increase accountability and transparency in the foster care system. For example, guardians ad litem, attorney ad litem and the court, in addition to the other steps in their process, must look into a child's medical background and ask the child their own opinion of the care they have received. Also, there are extra provisions which would require extra steps to be taken by parents whose foster child are prescribed psychotropic drugs, including making sure that foster children transitioning into individual living have their prescriptions taken care of during the transition process. 

Some major provisions of this legislation include:

  • At the placement hearing for a child, the court must ensure that the child is receiving proper medical care. Court also needs to evaluate the administration of psychotropic medication, if applicable
  • When 18 and moving from foster care to individual care, the department must make sure to include any prescriptions in the transition plan to help aid the individual's transition
  • Adds psychotropic medicine administration and appropriate use of psychological therapies training to the already required training program for potential foster parents
  • Changes language in the code from "Texas Youth Commission" to "Texas Juvenile Justice Department" to fit with the updated name change

Analysis: Consistent with our position on HB 838 which dealt with a similar aspect of foster care, we support HB 915. To be clear TPPA would not support legislation designed to regulate parental decisions at this level outside of the context of foster parenting. However, in the case of foster children who are wards of the state, there is a compelling public interest that the state ensure proper care is being given to this vulnerable population. These provisions do not add a significant burden to foster parents or prospective foster parents. We support HB 915 and its provisions which increase transparency and accountability in the foster care system.