Cutting funds to Travis County Will Have Effects on CPS Overhaul
Last month Governor Greg Abbott laid out four key issues as emergencies for legislators to take up immediately, including an overhaul of our state’s child welfare system. He implored the legislature to properly fund Child Protective Services and even said, “If you do nothing else this session, cast a vote to save the life of a child.”
However, actions speak louder than words.
The Governor pulled state grant funding from Travis County due to a disagreement over a completely legal policy decision made by the elected Sheriff of Travis County. One of the programs that relies heavily on the grant money that Governor Abbott pulled is the Travis County Family Drug Treatment Court which serves families and children that are at risk of having to be removed by CPS.
The Travis County Family Drug Treatment Court strives to end the family cycle of involvement in the CPS system and the results demonstrate its success. This court is preventing children from ending up in CPS and potentially saving their lives. The cutting of funds to this court will undoubtedly have detrimental effects on Texas families.
Despite the overwhelming challenges the people in this court face—lack of education, mental health disorders, criminal history—55% of this underserved population graduate successfully from a rigorous program of accountability, drug testing, inpatient substance use treatment, parenting training, and intensive therapy. And of that 55%, almost all (95%) are able to safely and effectively parent their children when their CPS cases are closed. Cutting funding to a court that is working to fix the broken CPS system is counterproductive. Governor Abbott must stop playing politics with the lives of children.
The Travis County Family Drug Treatment Court isn’t the only positive program that will be affected by these cuts in funding. The following programs will also be affected:
- Parenting in Recovery/Family Drug Treatment Court
- Family Violence Accelerated Prosecution Program
- Family Violence Accelerated Victim Outreach Program
- Veterans Court Program
- Prostitute Prevention Program
- Travis County Adult Probation DWI Court
- Travis County APD 2000 Replacement
- Streamlining Assessment Practices to Improve Youth Substance
- Trauma Specific Treatment for Juveniles
- Enhancing Services for Victims of Crime
- Leadership Acadmey
- Tiger Enrichment Program
- Drug Diversion Court
You can view the full breakdown of these cut funds meant to go in Travis County here.
You’re Invited to a Briefing on the Changing Demographics in Texas
The House Committee on County Affairs, that I chair, would like to invite you to a briefing on the rapid changing demographics in Texas on Monday, February 20th. We are pleased to have guest speaker Dr. Steve Murdock, the first Texas State Demographer, share his research regarding the implications of a growing state. Dr. Murdock is also the former Director of the U.S. Bureau of the Census under President George W. Bush. He is an accomplished author of 15 books and 150 articles on the implications of current and future demographic and socioeconomic change. Currently, he is the Allyn R. and Gladys M. Cline Professor of Sociology at Rice University.
Normally, we have a briefing of this caliber just for the Committee members during our organizational process. However, the Committee feels that his research touches every issue the House Committee on County Affairs, and other committees will discuss this session. It is because of this importance that we would like to invite all members, staff, and public to attend this briefing.
The briefing will be held in the Capitol extension auditorium (E1.004) on Monday, February 20th, 2017 from 9:00-10:30 a.m.
On behalf of the House Committee on County Affairs, we hope you join us for this exciting presentation. The impact of Texas’ changing demographics affects us all.
Texas State Capitol Extension Auditorium E1.004
1100 Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701
Monday, February 20, 2017
The song of the week is “Where Do The Children Go?” by Cat Stevens.