In November 2016, Commissioner H.L. “Hank” Whitman moved special investigators and their leadership out of CPS and into the newly created Special Investigations program under the leadership of Director Jim Sylvester. These special investigators are required to have law enforcement experience, and this change was made to promote high quality investigations while utilizing the talent of these former officers and their criminal justice expertise. This change was related to Whitman’s ten-point plan for improving DFPS that he unveiled in FY 2016.
In response to HB 5 and to further the goal of increasing the quality and effectiveness of child abuse and neglect investigations, DFPS laid plans and began a much larger reorganization in the summer of 2017. This included moving all child abuse and neglect investigation duties and staff from Child Protective Services, Child Care Licensing, and Special Investigations into a consolidated DFPS Investigations program, led by Associate Commissioner Jim Sylvester.
On September 1, 2017, the regulatory functions of the Child Care Licensing program as well as the Adult Protective Services Provider Investigations program transferred to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.