SB 125

84(R) - 2015
Senate Health & Human Services
Senate Health & Human Services
Health & Human Services

Companion Bill

HB 1852

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Neutral


Royce West

Bill Caption

Relating to certain assessments for children in the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services.

Fiscal Notes

Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for SB 125, Committee Report 1st House, Substituted: a negative impact of ($564,905) through the biennium ending August 31, 2017. The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal basis for an appropriation of funds to implement the provisions of the bill.

Based on information provided by the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), it was estimated that an additional 3.0 full-time equivalent (FTE) would be needed for policy development and oversight to be hired in fiscal year 2017. The costs associated with those FTEs would be $374,992 in fiscal year 2017 and $410,617 in fiscal year 2018 and each year after. Those costs include salaries, benefits, other operating expenses, and the costs associated with 0.1 FTEs at the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). 

Other costs in fiscal year 2016 include $31,000 for the development of the algorithm; $80,000 for the access to the electronic Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (eCANS) system, which will provide the results of the CANS assessment; and $146,130 for training costs.

Total cost would be $257,130 in fiscal year 2016, $374,992 in fiscal year 2017, and $410,617 in fiscal year 2018 and each year thereafter. 

The HHSC indicated that STARHealth clients receive many assessments (an average of 3 per client) and that by streamlining the process to reduce the number of assessments could create savings. The savings could not be estimated. 

No fiscal implication to units of local government is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

This legislation adds a section to Chapter 266 of the Family Code regarding medical care and educational services for children in foster care.

The bill requires children who have entered the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to receive a comprehensive assessment no later than the 45th day after entering the DFPS conservatorship. The assessment must include a screening for trauma and interviews with individuals who have knowledge of the child's needs. DFPS will be responsible for developing the necessary guidelines to implement the assessment report.

Vote Recommendation Notes

The best way for children to be raised is usually by their own parents, or by relatives who step in to take the responsibility if the parents are unwilling or unable. Under extreme circumstances it becomes necessary for the state to intervene when the parents are unwilling, unable, or adjudicated as unfit to raise their own children and no family members are able to assume responsibility for them. When the state does assume the responsibility to care for children, it has an obligation to ensure that their needs are identified and addressed in a timely manner and that they can have as normal a childhood as possible under the circumstances. Since the prescribed assessment fits within our view of a legitimate role of government, we support SB 125.