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Relating to the statewide implementation of community-based foster care by the Department of Family and Protective Services.
Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for HB 3691, Committee Report 1st House, Substituted: a NEGATIVE impact of ($3,423,619) through the biennium ending August 31, 2023.
The bill would make no appropriations but could provide the legal basis for an appropriation of funds to implement the provisions of the bill.
HB 3691 would update the legislative intent and purpose for community-based care to also prevent entry into substitute care, reunify and preserve families, and develop goals for the reduction of the time that a child is in the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services and the preservation of families to avoid placing children in foster care.
HB 3691 would define Community-Based care to mean the provision of child welfare services in accordance with state and federal child welfare goals by a community-based nonprofit or a local government entity under contract to prevent entry into foster care; reunify and preserve families; ensure child safety, permanency, and well-being; and reduce future referrals of children or parents to the department.
HB 3691 would require the department to include in their community-based care implementation plan information on the department's method for monitoring contracts with an evaluation of each contractor which assess effectiveness; measures performance and outcomes; and compares outcomes in different areas of the state. HB 3691 would also require in this plan a report on issues that impede transition to community-based care; an evaluation of each contractor's processes and fiscal and qualitative outcomes; require the department to transmit immediately all reports and evaluations to the relevant members of the legislature; and include a specific implementation plan for each geographic area.
HB 3691 would require a contract with a single source continuum contractor to identify the employees and other resources to be transferred to the contractor; create a risk-sharing funding model that strategically and explicitly balances financial risk between the state and the contractor; and require the annual review and adjustment be based on updated cost and finance methodologies. In identified regions for implementation or where community-based care currently operates, contractors would be allowed to apply to the department for a waiver from statutory and regulatory requirements to increase innovation and flexibility. HB 3691 would then require a single-source continuum contractor to prepare a report
HB 3691 would further require the department to accept and evaluate unsolicited proposals from entities in a geographic service area where the department has not expanded community-based care.
Texas Action supports HB 3691 which is in alignment with our principles of individual liberty and limited government.