SB 423

83(R) - 2013
Health & Human Services

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Jane Nelson

Bill Caption

Relating to the flexible response system for investigations of child abuse or neglect reports by the Department of Family and Protective Services.

Fiscal Notes

Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for SB423, As Introduced: a negative impact of ($1,542,384) through the biennium ending August 31, 2015. According to DFPS, implementing the provisions of the bill would require substantive changes to the Information Management Protecting Adults and Children in Texas (IMPACT) system, which is the agency’s automated casework system, in order to create an additional stage of service for the alternative investigation track. The agency's estimated costs for these system changes is $1,732,354 (16,526 hours of development X $104.83 per hour) in All Funds, including $1,542,384 in General Revenue Funds in fiscal year 2014. The agency has requested exceptional item funding for the 2014-15 biennium for this project.

Bill Analysis

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.