Promoting Justice and Healing

The Texas CJA program brings together child-protection and criminal justice experts to improve the state's response to cases of child abuse and neglect.



US: With kids' antipsychotic treatment on the rise, study looks at prescriber decision-making

(Medical News Today)

More kids nationwide are taking medications designed to treat such mental illnesses as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and pediatricians and psychiatrists at the University of Vermont want to know why.

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PSA on child abuse leads to more phone calls reporting abuse

(KENS San Antonio)

This year, 'Child Safe' aired a PSA. where several county leaders called for action, asking San Antonio area residents to report child abuse. Bexar County District Attorney Nico Lahood sits on the board. "There's been a lot more phone calls a lot more people a lot more awareness out there," said Lahood.

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CPS workers firings 'substantiated' after Colton Turner death

(KXAN Austin)

Six months after police discovered Colton Turner's tiny body in a Southeast Austin grave, a state investigative agency has substantiated allegations that resulted in the firing of three Texas Child Protective Services workers in September.

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CPS Investigators Undergo Training with a "Family Focus"

(CBS 7: Your Eye on West Texas)

As caseloads increase in the Permian Basin, Child Protective Services are doing everything possible to streamline their cases and move children into a safe home quicker. On Wednesday, a group of CPS investigators met in Midland to learn different techniques to do just that.

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Federal Study: Foster Kids Struggle to Get Health Screenings

(ABC News)

Some foster children are not getting their required medical screenings even though the visits are paid for by Medicaid, federal health investigators warn in a study released Monday.

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Colton's Law Filed


"Colton's Law" could give CPS the tools they need to help unlocatable children immediately, giving caseworkers the power to immediately alert law enforcement, and saving those children before it's too late.

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The Brief Life and Private Death of Alexandria Hill

(Mother Jones)

Squeezed by high caseloads and tight budgets, state and local child welfare agencies are increasingly leaving the task of recruiting, screening, training, and monitoring foster parents to these private agencies. In many places, this arrangement has created a troubling reality in which the government can seize your children, but then outsource the duty of keeping them safe-and duck responsibility when something goes wrong.

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CASA of South Texas joins hundreds at CASA Day at Capitol

(Pleasanton Express)

CASA of South Texas joined more than 300 CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) volunteers, board members and staff from across the state at the Capitol to speak up for children in the child welfare system.

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Adopting Through Foster Care: A Less Expensive Alternative

(US News & World Report)

A private domestic or international adoption can cost tens of thousands of dollars. But Americans wishing to expand their family have another option that costs next to nothing: adopting through foster care. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Children's Bureau reports that nearly 400,000 American children were in foster care in 2012, and about a quarter of those were waiting to be adopted.

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Centene's Texas Subsidiary Announces Successful Reprocurement of Foster Care Contract


Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC) today announced that its wholly-owned Texas subsidiary, Superior HealthPlan, has been tentatively recommended for a contract award by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to service STAR Health (Foster Care) Medicaid recipients.

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Andrews ISD Responds to Child Abuse Allegations

(NewsWest 9)

It's a story NewsWest 9 first broke out of Andrews. More allegations of child abuse at the hands of special needs teachers. The aide who made the claims filed suit against the Andrews School District for being fired and now the district has formally responded.

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Child Protective Services is failing to protect children, unreported death show


Proper review of this data would be able to reveal trends and patterns that could be used to identify high-risk situations. The analysis done in the Statesman report showed several key places where this data could have been useful to CPS and should be useful to them going forward.

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Kids' Solo Playtime Unleashes 'Free-Range" Parenting Debate


Parents have made news recently after being detained for purposefully leaving children on their own, prompting renewed debate about so-called "free-range parenting." Moms and dads who practice this parenting style say it promotes independent, even fearless kids. But what is considered free-range by some can look like neglect to others. As for what's against the law, child welfare experts say there's no easy answer.

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A Preventative Guide on Mental Illness

(Dallas Morning News)

Some mental illnesses clearly result from the intersection of inherited genetic vulnerabilities and the burdens of painful and tragic life experiences. This isn’t true of every illness or every case, but in order to make progress in decreasing the number of serious mental illness cases, we’re going to have to understand the way that childhood trauma interacts with genes in our developing brains.

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Bastrop Sheriff's Investigator Made Mistakes on 44 Cases


A Bastrop County Sheriff's Office investigator charged with investigating crimes against children - as well as adults - neglected as many as 44 criminal cases over two years, an internal audit discovered.

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Travis County Prosecutes Less Than Half of Child Abuse Cases


Child Protective Services confirmed 233 victims of sexual abuse and 418 victims of physical abuse last year in Travis County, yet the district attorney's office prosecuted just a fraction of the cases.

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Foster Care Reform Will Cost More Money

(Texas Observer)

Texas is pushing ahead with controversial reforms to the scandal-plagued foster care system despite a recent report that the overhaul is over budget.

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Did Law Enforcement Miss Opportunities to Help Colton Turner

(Austin American Statesman)

A state report recently faulted Child Protective Services for failing to protect Colton Turner, the 2-year-old boy whose remains police believe they found in an Austin field last month.

But law enforcement agencies might have also missed red flags signaling trouble.

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Cuts to Child Welfare Force States to Spend Smarter


The first report by the Urban Institute found that total federal expenditures on children by the federal government in 2013 were up from 2012, but still below what it spent in 2010. The report further projects that outlays on children will drop as much as 10 percent through the next decade. The second report from the nonprofit research center Child Trends delivers figures indicating that total spending on child welfare between 2010 and 2012 actually went down, the first decline in 20 years

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Number of Children in the Foster Care System on the Rise

(The Shawnee News-Star)

The report, released by the Department of Health and Human Services, says there were 402,378 children in the foster care system nationwide in 2013, the most recent year in which data is available. These numbers are up from the previous year. Last year's report showed there were 397,000 kids in foster care in 2012. 

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Officers take child abuse investigation training

(Valley Morning Star)

Kimberly Treviño said she is interested in new updates on child abuse laws, so she can make better decisions. Trevino, a supervisor for Child Protective Services in Brownsville, was one of about 30 people from law enforcement organizations and Child Protective Services who on Wednesday began three days of training at the Cameron County Sheriff's Office. 

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