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The bill would amend Chapter 264 of the Family Code to require the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to study the effectiveness of the relative and other designated caregiver placement program, also known as kinship care, created by Subchapter I and make recommendations to the legislature for improving the program.
The bill would require the recommended improvements to be designed to:
The recommendations would be allowed to include increases in the amount of assistance and the identification of automated or other processes designed to speed the payment of assistance.
DFPS would be required to report its findings and recommendations to the legislature by January 1, 2017.
The second chamber sponsor is Senator Estes.
The goals of the foster care system should always be to minimize the number of placements of children, to place them with relatives, and to secure a permanent placement for the child so that the state ceases to be involved. To the extent that this study would help to improve those aspects of the foster care system in Texas, we are supportive. So long as the government is going to assume conservatorship of a child there exists a responsibility to diligently provide for the child's permanent placement (with family members if possible) in a safe and loving environment. This is consistent with the role of a limited government.
The second chamber sponsor is Sen. Estes.