AUSTIN (AP/KXAN) — Records show the number of Texas foster children staying in agency offices or alternate sites due to lack of placement more than doubled in March, compared to February.
The Texas Department of Family Protective Services said Friday that 65 children slept at least two consecutive nights in a state office, motel or shelter last month. There were 29 foster children living in state offices or alternate sites during February.
A 15-year-old foster girl living at a state office in Houston died April 2 after fleeing and being hit by a vehicle.
Child Protective Services spokesman Patrick Crimmins says Gov. Greg Abbott believes it’s unacceptable for foster children to live in CPS offices. In the current legislative session, several bills are aimed at addressing and fixing the problems with CPS.
Talks have started with residential treatment providers in Oklahoma, Arkansas and New Mexico to possibly build in Texas.
Just last week, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick sent out a press release stating more than a thousand faith partners have joined the Department of Family and Protective Services’ faith-based collaboration to encourage more families across the state to become foster parents. In 2016, Patrick asked faith-based groups to help with the child crisis in the state when news originally surfaced that children were sleeping in CPS offices. From December 2015 to April 2016, 67 children were sleeping in state offices.
If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, details can be found here.