Executive Order RP 33 issued April 14, 2004, directed HHSC to oversee the systemic reform of the APS program. HHSC began an intensive review of the APS program and issued a preliminary report on May 19, 2004. The report included preliminary findings on program performance, functional review, and policy assessment of the APS program, including the Guardianship program.
Executive Order RP 33 required HHSC to submit an implementation plan within 90 days of the executive order that outlines corrective actions to reform the APS program. This implementation plan was issued July 12, 2004. DFPS is committed to implementing the corrective actions in this plan as quickly as possible within the timeframes indicated.
HHSC has worked with leadership offices to identify additional FY 2005 funding for:
- sufficient staff in critical areas of the state,
- technology to improve investigations,
- modifications to IMPACT, and
- programmatic changes to better deliver services.
This additional funding is included in the FY 2005 budgeted amounts in the legislative appropriations request (LAR) document. The funding necessary for the continuation of staff and the other improvements to be put in place in FY 2005, and additional staff to further reduce caseload per worker is being requested as an exceptional item.
Executive Order RP 35 related to reforming the CPS program was issued July 2, 2004. HHSC is responsible for developing an implementation plan with a due date of September 29, 2004, with a final report due on December 31, 2004. This submittal of our LAR does not contain baseline or exceptional item requests that address this reform effort because it is too early in the review process. If HHSC identifies additional funding necessary for the reform effort, we will revise our budget request accordingly
Federal Child And Family Services Review
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through its Administration for Children and Families (ACF), periodically reviews state performance on child welfare outcomes in the areas of safety, permanency, and well-being, while also examining systemic aspects of state child welfare services. In June 2002, ACF released the Child and Family Services Review Summary of Findings for Texas, based on this comprehensive review. While the legacy Department of Protective and Regulatory Services (DPRS) met all the systemic standards, the report identified several opportunities to improve in the permanency, safety, and well-being outcomes.
In response to this review, the legacy DPRS negotiated a Program Improvement Plan (PIP) with the ACF in May 2003 and adjusted this summer, to address the state's health and human services consolidation and department reorganization. The next review will occur after the conclusion of the two-year PIP, as early as Spring 2006. In this later review, DFPS must achieve 95 percent conformity with standards, instead of 90 percent utilized for the previous review. The agency has developed several initiatives to improve safety, permanency, and well-being of children, and is seeking funding for a continued emphasis on these outcomes.
Changing Demographic Factors
Between 2004 and 2010, the state's population is expected to increase by about 2.5 million, or eleven percent. Projections indicate that the number of children under 18 will increase by about 200,000, and the number of adults over 64 will increase by about 284,000 for this same time period. The number of adults over 64 will experience the highest growth rate.Growth in both of these segments of the population, children under 18 and adults over 64, impact demand for protective and preventive services provided by DFPS.