Abused and neglected children are sleeping in CPS offices due to lack of beds and higher costs due to Covid-19 symptomatic of a state-wide foster care crisis according to a Dallas Morning News article published on December 18. In it they say:
“Last month, 126 kids removed from their birth families spent at least two consecutive nights or more with CPS workers, either at state offices or hotels, the highest number in several years. In December 2019, only 10 children did, records obtained by The Dallas Morning News show. Higher costs because of COVID-19, comparatively low reimbursements and “heightened monitoring” forced by the class-action federal lawsuit over long-term foster care have combined to drive 10 providers offering more than 500 beds out of doing further business with the state during the past 12 months.”
And for those children actually in foster care already, things aren’t doing all too well either. Texas is facing a $75,000-a-day fine after a federal judge threatened to hold Texas in contempt after the inexcusable state of the foster system in the state was exposed according to a different Dallas Morning News article from December 18. In it they say:
“A federal judge on Friday found Texas in contempt of court — again — for continuing to expose thousands of children to “an unreasonable risk of serious harm” while they are in foster care. U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack threatened to levy fines of $75,000 a day against the state Health and Human Services Commission, starting Jan. 3. The fines can be averted, she said, if the commission, which regulates foster care providers, stops dragging its feet and assembles by then an electronic readout of each home or facility’s five-year history on maltreatment and corporal punishment.”
So there is a provision for the fines to be avoided, provided that the Texas Foster Care System can shape up by the 3rd of January.