Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
Advisory Council Meeting
April 20, 2010
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Advisory Council meeting was held in the Public Hearing Room of the Brown-Heatly Building, 4900 North Lamar Boulevard, Austin, Texas. Council members present were Chair Gigi Edwards Bryant, Vice Chair Imogen Papadopoulos, Past Chair Ommy Strauch, Debbie Epperson, Paul Furukawa, Tina Martin, Linda Bell Robinson, and Mamie Salazar-Harper.
Also present was Commissioner Heiligenstein and department staff.
Not present was Council member, Scott Rosenbach.
Agenda Item 1 – Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by Chair Gigi Edwards Bryant at 9:01 a.m.
Agenda Item 2 - Reading, Correction. and Approval of Minutes of January 15, 2010, regular meeting
Ms. Strauch moved acceptance of minutes as distributed; Dr. Robinson seconded. The minutes needed no corrections and were approved as printed.
Chair Bryant announced agenda business items would be handled out of order.
Agenda Item 4 - Agency Briefings
4.b. Commissioner's Report to include: Legislative Appropriations Requests (LAR) timeline and process, announcement of upcoming stakeholder meeting, and notification of rule adoptions - Anne Heiligenstein
Commissioner Heiligenstein reported on the plan for developing the Legislative Appropriation Request for the legislative session beginning in January 2011. A stakeholder meeting will be held April 27, 2010, to receive input for the department's drafted strategic plan and potential exceptional items. In May, public hearings will be held to receive comment on the Health and Human Services Commission's consolidated strategic plan draft. The consolidated strategic plan will be finalized in June. Development of the department's exceptional items concerning funding will continue while recognizing budget constraints in the upcoming biennium. The appropriations request will be submitted to the Governor's Office and to the Legislative Budget Board in August. Proposals will be brought to the Council for comment and review.
Commissioner Heiligenstein recognized former Council Chair, Ommy Strauch, and read a proclamation from Governor Perry in recognition of Ms. Strauch's eleven years of service to DFPS and to the State of Texas. Ms. Strauch responded to the Commissioner's remarks.
4.c. Chair's Report - Gigi Edwards Bryant
Chair Bryant welcomed the Council members to her first meeting as chair. Ms. Bryant grew up in the foster system and is the first former foster child to serve as chair of the DFPS Advisory Council. She and her siblings were likely the first African-American family to enter the foster care system. She thanked members for their support and service; she asked members to introduce themselves and to state what region they represent.
Agenda Item 3 - Public Testimony
Senator Tommy Williams, District 4, thanked the Council for accommodating his schedule and allowing him to speak at the beginning of the meeting. Senator Williams has spoken with constituents in his district who are in the child-care business, and has heard concern that reducing staffing ratios will drive up costs and strain families in these hard economics times. Parents may be forced to send their children to unlicensed facilities because they can no longer afford licensed facilities.
Senator Williams also spoke about the potential requirement not yet proposed of 40 hours of continuing education. While training is important, he believes 40 hours of continuing education is excessive, given high turnover rates and minimum wages of these child-care workers.
Senator Williams has noticed an increased focus on FBI criminal background checks due to the cost of the background checks. He wants to make sure the background check results are transferable between facilities. Constituents tell him they will be required to get a background check if they transfer to another facility, even if the facility is owned by the same company. Senator Williams does not think this was the Legislature's intent, and he wants to ensure facilities understand they can transfer their employees between locations to best utilize their staff.
In closing, Senator Williams asked that the department ensure all groups are represented in the rule-making process. He has received complaints from for-profit child-care business owners who feel they have not been part of this process. He also asked the department to look beyond state and national associations to identify larger facilities that may not be part of an association.
Commissioner Heiligenstein responded that inclusive outreach efforts to gather input are being made and that redundancies in criminal background checks will be reviewed.
Ms. Baker, founder of the Children Against Toxins Association, spoke to the issue of excessive use of bleach in day care centers. She notes there is no monitoring system in place to protect children from toxic chemicals in day-care centers; she maintains that day care centers should be allowed to use EPA-approved alternatives to bleach.
Chair Bryant noted a change to the order of the agenda's new business items.
Agency Item 5 - New Business
5.f. Recommendation to propose rule changes in 40 TAC, Chapter 711, Subchapter O, Employee Misconduct Registry - Karl Urban, APS
Karl Urban, Director of Performance and Policy Development for APS, presented the recommendation to propose rule changes in 40 TAC, Chapter 711, Subchapter O, which is required by Senate Bills 806 and 643, and asked that the rules be published in the Texas Register for public comment. No questions or discussion followed.
Ms. Strauch moved the recommendation to propose the amendments, new sections and repeals concerning the Employee Misconduct Registry as reflected in the April 20, 2010 agenda, Item 5f. Ms. Martin seconded the motion. Ms. Bryant called for a vote. The motion passed.
Agency Item 6 - Old Business
6.a. Recommendation to adopt rule changes in 40 TAC, Chapter 711, Investigations in DADS Mental Retardation and DSHS Mental Health Facilities and Related Programs - Karl Urban, APS
Karl Urban presented rules recommended for final adoption related to investigations in private intermediate care facilities for the mentally retarded as well as implementing policy changes growing out of the Department of Justice Settlement Agreement with the State of Texas. No questions or discussion followed.
Ms. Epperson moved the recommendation to adopt the amendments and new section in Chapter 711 concerning investigations in DADS Mental Retardation and DSHS Mental Health Facilities and Related Programs as reflected in the April 20, 2010 agenda, Item 6a. Dr. Furukawa seconded the motion. No questions or discussion followed. Ms. Bryant called for a vote. The motion passed.
Agency Item 5 - New Business (continued)
5.g Recommendation to propose rule changes in 40 TAC, Chapter 700, Section 700.1613 relating to the Educational and Training Voucher (ETV) Program - Audrey Deckinga, CPS
Audrey Deckinga, CPS Assistant Commissioner, presented Agenda Item 5g, recommending proposed rules to expand the ETV program to include youth who attain 16 years of age in foster care and exit to the Permanency Care Assistance Program. Ms. Deckinga recommended this rule be proposed and published in the Texas Register for formal public comment. No questions or discussion followed.
Dr. Furukawa moved the recommendation to propose rule changes in 40 TAC, Chapter 700, Section 700.1613 relating to the Educational and Training Voucher (ETV) Program as reflected in the April 20, 2010 agenda, Item 5g. Ms. Salazar-Harper seconded the motion. No questions or discussion followed. Ms. Bryant called for a vote. The motion passed.
5.e. Recommendation to amend existing HHSC Rules at 1 TAC, Sections 355.7101, Cost Determination Process, and 355.7103, Rate-Setting Methodology for 24-Hour Residential Child Care Reimbursements - Pam McDonald, HHSC
Pam McDonald, Director of Rate Analysis for Long Term Services and Supports with the Health and Human Services Commission, presented proposed technical amendments relating to cost-reporting rules and provisions, indicating that only one cost report per child-placing agency is required. No questions or discussion followed.
Dr. Robinson moved the recommendation to adopt the amendments to existing HHSC Rules at 1 TAC, Sections 355.7101, Cost Determination Process, and 355.7103, Rate-Setting Methodology for 24-Hour Residential Child Care Reimbursements, as reflected in the April 20, 2010 agenda, Item 5e. Ms. Epperson seconded the motion. No questions or discussion followed. Ms. Bryant called for a vote. The motion passed.
Agenda Item 3 - Public Testimony (continued)
Sul Ross, Vice-President of Programs and Collaboration Development for Collaborative for Children, spoke about ratios and group sizes. Mr. Ross's organization is a non-profit agency covering the 13-county Houston area which focuses on quality improvement in early care and education. He noted that Texas ranks low in terms of ratios; 47 other states have better ratios and group sizes. Mr. Ross encouraged the Council to recommend improved minimum standards in the areas of ratios and group sizes and supported recommended changes in other subsections, as well as raising training hours for caregivers.
Judy Cornelius, representing the Texas Professional Home Child Care Association, as well as herself as owner of a licensed child-care home, spoke about clarification on ratios for licensed child-care homes and regulation of listed homes. Ms. Cornelius noted that in Section 747.1603, there is a proposal for an added definition number 5 that you may count a child who is at least four years of age attending a pre-kindergarten program away from the home during the customary school day as a school-aged child in a pre-kindergarten program operated by or in collaboration with the local school district. She asked for explanation of inconsistencies in the rules and questioned if the proposed rule changes will apply to registered homes, licensed homes, or both. A second concern presented by Ms. Cornelius was that of unregulated care, namely listed homes. She supports the application of minimum standards to all child care.
Dawn Breeden, representing the Lewisville Area Family and Child Care Association, supports the majority of the newly proposed child-care regulations and requested minor changes to proposed regulations. She believes listed family homes should be held to a higher standard and feels anyone entrusted with the care of a child should be trained. She also suggested that the rules should read that water be "offered" at every meal and snack time rather than "served", because milk is already being served at breakfast and lunch by those in the food program.
David Fincher, representing the National Child Care Coalition, spoke about ratios and group sizes. Mr. Fincher operates a child-care center in Rowlett, Texas. He gave statistics on numbers of children in child care in Texas and the cost of care, noting that parents will be forced to absorb the increased costs of daycare if the proposed standards are adopted.
Kara Johnson, president and CEO of the Texas Early Childhood Education Coalition (TECEC), spoke about child-care minimum standards. TECEC represents child-care, Head Start and public school pre-K advocates in Texas. Ms. Johnson thanked Sasha Rasco and her staff for creating an open dialogue across the state and allowing stakeholders to speak about the minimum standards. She stated opinions vary but they can all agree on three ideas: First, quality is important. Ms. Johnson provided copies of the Texas Plan, the TECEC 10-year public policy agenda, which includes high quality standards they would to pass over a 10-year period. Second, collaboration is important. Child care is a part of the collaborative model that the Governor, Legislature and stakeholders have been working to create in Texas. She also provided copies of TECEC's Collaboration Manual. Finally, there is a $10 to 20 billion shortfall going into the next legislative session, and the Texas economy is not yet on solid ground. Standards should be increased but not to the point that parents cannot afford high-quality care.
Dan Adams is president and CEO of Cal Farley's Boys Ranch in Amarillo and a member of the Committee on Licensing Standards. He thanked Commissioner Heiligenstein, CCL Assistant Commissioner Sasha Rasco, and licensing staff for their efforts to reach out to various stakeholders and he understands the department cannot meet everyone's agenda.
Shannon Harris, representing ABC Academy, LLC, and other Montgomery County licensed child-care centers, spoke about proposed changes to Section 746.1609, concerning maximum group size. She maintained that reduction in maximum group size would force her center to dis-enroll government-subsidized children whose parents pay a lower rate than others. Proposed ratio changes would cause a loss in revenue, resulting in further rate increases. She suggested retaining current maximum group size and requiring three teachers with that maximum group size in order to reduce losses. Ms. Harris also asked for clarification on Section 746.101. Chair Bryant indicated that Ms. Harris had used the allotted time and offered to have a staff person talk further with her about the rule clarification.
Candy Dill, owner and administrator of Kids Only Learning Centers in Conroe, spoke about proposed ratio and director changes. Ms. Dill has gathered information on the number of regulated child-care centers in southeast Texas. She gave the number of children her centers would have to dis-enroll if the proposed changes are adopted. She stated child-care centers, like other businesses, must earn income to stay in business and pay their staff. Ms. Dill reached the time limit, and Chair Bryant asked a staff member to speak with her.
Debbie Taylor, with Advance Child Care Inc., expressed dissatisfaction with the online survey on minimum standards. She believes responses received represent only a small number of the child-care centers in Texas. Ms. Taylor stated the majority of centers she spoke with did not receive the survey. She further stated all owners and directors should receive email notifications from Child Care Licensing. Ms. Taylor opposed proposals for additional ground surfacing, as she believes it would not increase child safety.
Max Taylor, also representing Advance Child Care Inc., spoke about the proposed minimum standards. Mr. Taylor is concerned licensing representatives do not have adequate training and rely only on minimum standards to do their jobs. He believes quality is not defined by minimum standards; simply adding more standards will not improve quality of care. He stated the standards are also limiting parents' choices by dictating those things to which their child may or may not be exposed.
Keith Davis, representing Creative Child Care, Inc., provided testimony around staffing ratios and maximum group sizes. Mr. Davis stated lower ratios will increase the cost of care. During the recent recession, his centers have experienced a drastic reduction in full-pay parents due to unemployment and an increase in families seeking assistance through subsidized care. His centers have had to close some of their infant programs. The remaining seven infant programs have been able to operate at a 2:10 ratio. Mr. Davis referred to a statement in the rule packet concerning the calculation of an average rate for cost of care. Mr. Davis reached the time limit before completing his comments.
Susan Craven, the Executive Director of the Texas Association for Infant Mental Health (TAIMH), spoke about strengthening licensing standards. Ms. Craven's association promotes better care of infants and toddlers through education and also advocates for policies. TAIMH received a grant from the Hogg Foundation for the Mental Health Texas Mental Health Policy Initiative funding effort. This report states that a consistent, nurturing relationship with a caring adult is the most important factor in healthy development of children under age three. Current licensing standards undermine such a relationship. The Association supports reducing child/staff ratios, promoting continuity of care, and increasing the hours of pre-service training and annual training.
Jackie Taylor, Program Director for the Texas Association for the Education of Young Children (TAEYC), voiced support of the proposed child-care licensing revisions. TAEYC represents over 2,000 members with 18 affiliates; its goal is to provide professional development and advocate for higher quality programs. She urged the Council to support increased training for both pre service and annual training in center-based and home-based care. Ms. Taylor stated research shows us that teacher training and the number of children per caretaker directly impacts the safety of those children. She believes risk of harm to children increases when caretakers are required to have only 8 clock hours of training. Inadequate supervision is a major finding in licensing inspections and may be due to the teacher's lack of knowledge in child development. Increased teacher training coupled with adequate pay reduces turnover, thereby reducing the cost of training new staff. Ms. Craven commended Sasha Rasco and her staff for their work on the minimum standards and for their efforts to solicit feedback.
Rusty Simpson, owner of the Whistle Stop Station, commented on the impact that proposed ratios would have on parents' tuition, specifically that of single parents with multiple children. He provided an example of how a small increase in rates can quickly add up for single parents with more than one child. He stated the lower staffing ratio offered at some centers is often reflected in their higher rates. Mr. Simpson believes that quality of child care cannot be legislated.
Don Forrester, representing the Children at Heart Ministries and the Texas Coalition of Homes for Children, spoke in support of the changes to the minimum standards. Mr. Forrester thanked the department for their support and stated coalition members feel they have been heard through public hearings and written comment.
Paul Huff stated that his child-care facility in Frisco was designed according to current minimum standards. He and his wife have made significant financial investments in this facility and are currently building another. Mr. Huff believes available spots in child care will decrease if the proposed standards are adopted. He stated that most facilities do not make any money from infant care; infant rooms in almost all facilities are subsidized by paying customers in other classrooms. If ratios are lowered, tuition will increase.
Monica Carney, co-owner of Treehouse Academy, opposes the proposal to limit a director to only one site and to require that the director must be at the center 30 hours a week. She also opposes the change in ratios. She states these revisions would have great financial impact on small, privately-owned centers with no outside resources. She will be forced to stop taking subsidized care. Ms. Carney also commented on how other states are able to meet lower ratios: child-care centers in those states are exempt from property taxes.
Kevin Kilgore, representing K-Max, Inc., spoke to the increased cost to parents if the proposed changes go into effect. He believes available openings in child-care centers will decrease. His four centers follow NEASC standards with larger square footage than required. The square footage requirement is unchanged in the minimum standards. He maintained that partitions will be placed in classrooms to accommodate more children, which is not a nurturing environment. The proposals would actually lower his standards.
David Culwell, owner of Oak Brook School in Murphy, Texas, spoke about the impact of lower staffing ratios in after-school programs. Mr. Culwell's school provides an after-school program, as does the Plano Independent School District in the same area. The children dis enrolled from his program due to increased rates would probably end up going to the unregulated Plano ISD after-school program. Mr. Culwell commented on the loss of income he would sustain, which is particularly an issue since he must pay property taxes to Plano ISD.
Lonnie Hutson, representing the Texas School-Ready Certification Program in the Houston area, provided comment on group sizes and ratios. Seventy-five percent of children in this program's classrooms are at risk. Lower ratios and reduced group sizes will have a dramatic negative effect. The at-risk child will be dis-enrolled first. He compared the cost of doggie day care to that of child-care centers; the charge for caring for dogs is higher. The rule change has a multiplier effect. He noted that all the child-care owners testifying have been against the proposed changes.
Nancy Chick is the Legislative Chair of the Texas Licensed Child Care Association. Ms. Chick's organization understands the goals of the proposed standards but has suggestions to strengthen the rules. Families in Texas face great economic difficulties, and this is not a good time to lower ratios and increase costs. Approximately seventy percent of child-care centers already meet the proposed minimum standards, but she requests flexibility for the approximately thirty percent of centers that do not. Ms. Chick suggested adding a third teacher to a room of 10 infants. Lowering the ratios at this time will do more harm than good. Subsidy children will be the first dis enrolled and the last accepted by another center because of increased costs. Ms. Chick also supports the department in seeking the Attorney General’s opinion regarding training hours.
Brad Hudson with Lasseter Bus & Mobility, thanked the department, particularly Sasha Rasco, Lee Roberts, Michele Adams, and Gerry Williams, for including him in the rules process. Mr. Hudson supports the new language in rules 746.5603 and 746.5607, that recognizes school buses and multifunction school activity buses as safer means of transportation for children and does not require booster seats or child restraint seats for children four years of age and weighing at least 40 pounds.
Melanie Rubin, with the Texas Association for Infant Mental Health, stated the purpose of child-care minimum standards is to protect the health, safety and well-being of children. She stated Texas minimum standards do not reflect scientific advances and findings about early childhood development. Children need interaction with nurturing adults to form healthy relationships. She suggested smaller group sizes and increased training for caregivers and directors.
Frank Bennett, president of Georgia Child Care Association, spoke about proposed changes to ratios and group sizes. Mr. Bennett is a center owner and spoke on behalf of members of the national franchise system. The National Association of Resource and Referral Agencies ranks Texas 12th in child-care center regulations and oversight; Georgia ranks 49th. He sees unintended consequences of these changes. Decreasing ratio and group size will decrease affordability and accessibility of child care. Georgia's issues are similar. A study indicates increased government regulation has a negative impact on price and availability. Only 30 percent of children nationwide are in licensed care; the number will be 25 percent if these rules are adopted.
Kerry Fortune, with the Ben Richey Boys Ranch in Abilene, represents a small children's home. Mr. Fortune stated his group was facing the same concerns five years ago, and he feels the process between the providers and the department did work. He thanked Child Care Licensing staff for meeting with him during that time and encouraged daycare providers to work with the agency.
Jacques Verron grew up in the family-owned facility he now runs. He commented on how the minimum standards manual has increased in size over the years. He maintains that since pre-service training for parents on how to raise children does not exist, pre-service training for child-care workers is superfluous.
Kerri Stanford, with Garland Kids Academy, opposes decreasing caregiver requirements. Ms. Stanford stated that the department is adding as a qualified caregiver someone with completion of high school coursework, not someone who has passed the TAKS or TAAS exam. She asked that the agency not decrease caregiver requirements while trying to improve quality of care. An earlier definition of supervision required a physical presence in a classroom. The current standards require "auditory or visual proximity." She asked that supervision be redefined to require a physical presence. She supports the current ratios and asked that group sizes remain as they are.
Lisa Rosenbaum spoke about the need for additional training. Ms. Rosenbaum is the mother of two grown daughters and a CASA volunteer. She related her observations of a day-care center and believes awareness and education on child development would improve the environment.
Leticia Jaimes of Stephenville is the mother of three children. Her children attend the center that she owns. She disputes the methods used in the survey, stating centers did not have to identify themselves and may have taken the survey multiple times. She believes the survey results are skewed. She questions whether or not lowering student/teacher ratios will increase safety. She stated quality requires increasing wages above minimum wage. The new standards may place children at risk.
Aaron Setliff, Director of Policy for the Texas Council on Family Violence, commented on minimum standards for family violence shelters. TCFV is a not-for-profit member organization which represents over 700 members, including over 100 family violence service providers. Mr. Setliff spoke on draft rules developed for Chapter 743 and 745 of TAC that will establish minimum standards and guidelines for day-care services located within a family violence shelter center. TCFV has collaborated with DFPS and with the Health and Human Services family violence program on drafting these rules. Stakeholder meetings have allowed family violence leadership to provide input. Recent changes to the proposed rules warrant additional discussion and TCFW looks forward to continuing open dialogue with CCL staff.
Betty Shafer, representing herself, supports lowering child-to-adult ratios. Her two older daughters attended unsatisfactory after-school care programs. She has experienced discrimination against her five-year-old daughter who has Down syndrome and is also being evaluated for autism. She maintains that workers should be trained to understand discrimination and educated to work with children with conditions such as autism.
Jill Stevenson, representing herself, supports the proposed amendment to the rule prohibiting trampolines on the property of foster families. She was told that their family's trampoline disqualified them from being foster parents. She recognizes the safety concerns but maintained that adult supervision and safety measures ensure safety. She considers the proposed amendment a fair compromise and urged the Council to adopt the rule.
Susie O'Dell, representing KinderCare Learning Centers, provided testimony around ratio and group sizes. Ms. O'Dell is concerned about the survey and the statistics that 75 percent of centers are meeting the ratios now. She questioned if the numbers are enrollment-based, meaning centers may be meeting proposed ratios due to low enrollment. Budgets and operational profit models are based on group sizes and current ratios. The changes will affect the number of subsidized families served.
Lori Lyons, representing Little Lyons Cub House, concurred with other speakers regarding ratios and group size. She asked that the fate of dis-enrolled children be readdressed. Ms. Lyons' facility is already meeting new standards for infant/teacher ratios. They require 45 hours of training for teachers and she supports increasing training hours.
Matthew Cloutier, owner and operator of Kids R Kids, spoke against lowering child-care ratios. Mr. Cloutier said increased regulations will result in higher costs and that competition naturally increases quality. He feels the current minimum standards are sound and should be maintained.
Charles Dudley, with the National Association of Professional Martial Arts, spoke about Chapter 744, the adoption of alternative educational requirements for skills-based programs. Mr. Dudley stated many youth sports programs would come under the jurisdiction of DFPS if Senate Bill 68 is implemented. His main concern is that coaches and instructors might not meet the educational requirements in the bill. Still, the youth sports programs in Texas are successful. Mr. Dudley said the minimum standards are tailored to child-care development, not youth sports.
Diane Callison, representing the Texas U.S. Gymnastics Skills-Based Sports, spoke about loose-fill surface indoors as relating to Section 744.3255. Ms. Callison represents youth involved in skills-based sports. She stated that loose-filled surfaces are essential to prevention of spinal injuries in gymnastics training; she is also concerned about education in sports-based programs falling under the purview of DFPS, as sports-based programs specialize in biomechanics and kinesiology, not daycare.
Debbie Kaschik with the Woodlands Young Learners Academy asked for clarification on requirements for the number of hours a director must be present at a center and how to handle situations in which a director takes extended leave.
Sherry Poe representing the Central Faith Child Development Center/The Children's Academy spoke about child/staff ratios. Ms. Poe's centers will lose families because of the raised costs generated by adopted proposals. She asked the department to reconsider the one class per age requirement, stating it is an unrealistic setting.
Chair Bryant announced the conclusion of the public testimony for CCL. She asked that the Council agree to a recess after comments from Commissioner Heiligenstein. She thanked those who attended the meeting. Megan Johnston stood and said she had registered on line to speak on child care licensing. Chair Bryant agreed to hear Ms. Johnston's testimony once the meeting reconvenes, and she was asked to sign in at the registration desk. Chair Bryant reminded the audience that this session is the beginning of the formal process of gathering input. The comments received will be part of the record as are submitted written comments. Further input is encouraged.
The Council took a ten-minute break at 11:50 am.
Chair Bryant reconvened the meeting of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Council at 12:00 p.m. on April 20, 2010, in the Brown-Heatly Building, Public Hearing Room, 4900 North Lamar Boulevard, Austin, Texas. Two council members, Dr. Robinson and Ms. Strauch, needed to leave early; however, but a quorum remained.
Agenda Item 3 - Public Testimony (continued)
Megan Johnston, representing herself, spoke as a classroom teacher on the effect of the proposed changes in child/teacher ratios. It will affect the bottom line and also affects the children and the care they receive.
Chair Bryant announced the completion of minimum standards related testimony. The Council then heard testimony relating to APS, CPS and the HHSC rule proposals.
Kathleen Nickels, speaking for herself, said she advocated for DFPS management but has been let down by the process. She maintains documentation has been fabricated or destroyed, and fraudulent contractors have been supported. Whistleblowers have been fired or discredited. Ms. Nickels believes that civil rights of some DFPS clients have been violated, and she urged the Council to look at the management structure and processes.
Judy Powell from the Parent Guidance Center spoke about medical child abuse issues. The Parent Guidance Center advocates for parents involved in the CPS system. Ms. Powell is concerned the subsidized and at-risk children may go into CPS custody if they are dis-enrolled from daycare. Neglectful supervision cases would increase dramatically due to dis-enrollment. Ms. Powell also spoke of the problem of medical child abuse, sometimes caused by Munchausen by proxy, when parents make their children ill in order to get attention from doctors and medical staff. Mitochondrial disease can be diagnosed. Two children in separate cases in Houston have been confirmed with Mitochondrial disease. Ms. Powell believes some parents of children with Mitochondrial disease have been wrongfully accused of medical neglect or Munchausen by proxy.
Agency Item 4 - Agency Briefings (continued)
4.a. Committee on Licensing Standards - Dr. Karyn Purvis/Sasha Rasco
Sasha Rasco, Assistant Commissioner for CCL, introduced Dr. Karyn Purvis to present the Committee on Licensing Standards' report. Dr. Purvis stated that committee members include representatives from each major stakeholder group. She expressed appreciation to Sasha Rasco for her diligence in gathering stakeholder input. Ms. Rasco reported briefly on the Committee on Licensing Standards report which is available on the department's public website. Proposed standards are for both child-care centers and foster care.
Agency Item 5 - New Business (continued)
5.a. Recommendation to propose new rules at 40 TAC, Chapter 744, Minimum Standards for School-Age and Before or After-School Programs - Sasha Rasco, CCL
Ms. Rasco asked that the Council recommend to Commissioner Heiligenstein and Executive Commissioner Suehs that rules be proposed and published in the Texas Register for formal public comment.
Dr. Furukawa moved to propose new rules as recommended by Ms. Rasco, in new Chapter 744, Minimum Standards for School-Age and Before or After-School Programs as reflected in the Council's April 20, 2010, Agenda Item 5a. Ms. Martin seconded. There was no discussion. The motion passed.
5.b. Recommendation to propose rule changes in 40 TAC, Chapter 746, Minimum Standards for Child-Care Centers; and Chapter 747, Minimum Standards for Child-Care Homes - Sasha Rasco, CCL
Ms. Rasco asked that the Council recommend to Commissioner Heiligenstein and Executive Commissioner Suehs that these rules as outlined in Agenda Item 5b be proposed and published in the Texas Register for formal public comment.
Ms. Salazar-Harper moved that the Council recommend for proposal by the Health and Human Services Commission the amendments, repeals and new sections in Chapter 746, Minimum Standards for Child-Care Centers and Chapter 747, Minimum Standards for Child-Care Homes as reflected in the council's April 20, 2010, Agenda Item 5a. Ms. Epperson seconded. Ms. Bryant called for discussion. General Counsel Gerry Williams reminded the Council and audience that these are the sets of rules for the day care standards in homes. They will be published at a later date in the Texas Register and will not come back before the Council until the October meeting. Ms. Bryant called for a vote and the motion passed.
5.c. Recommendation to propose rule changes in 40 TAC, Chapter 720, 24-Hour Care Licensing; Chapter 745, Licensing; Chapter 748, General Residential Operations; Chapter 749, Child-Placing Agencies; and Chapter 750, Independent Foster Homes - Sasha Rasco, CCL
Ms. Rasco asked that the Council recommend to Commissioner Heiligenstein and Executive Commissioner Suehs that these rules be proposed and published in the Texas Register for formal public comment as outlined in Agenda Item 5c.
Ms. Epperson moved that the council recommend for proposal by the Health and Human Services Commission the amendments, repeals and new sections in Chapter 720, 24 Hour Care Licensing; Chapter 745, Licensing; Chapter 748, General Residential Operations; Chapter 749, Child-Placing Agencies; and Chapter 750, Independent Foster Homes as reflected in the council's April 20, 2010, Agenda Item 5c. Dr. Furukawa seconded the motion. The motion passed without further discussion.
5.d. Recommendation to propose new rules at 40 TAC, Chapter 743, Minimum Standards for Shelter Care; and relevant amendments to Chapter 745, Licensing - Sasha Rasco, CCL
Ms. Rasco asked that the Council recommend to Commissioner Heiligenstein and Executive Commissioner Suehs that these rules be proposed and published in the Texas Register for formal public comment as outlined in Agenda Item 5d.
Ms. Martin moved that the council recommend for proposal by the Health and Human Services Commission new Chapter 743, Minimum Standards for Shelter Care; and the amendments to Chapter 745, Licensing as reflected in the council's April 20, 2010, Agenda Item 5d. Ms. Salazar-Harper seconded. The motion passed.
Agency Item 6 - Old Business (continued)
6.b. Recommendation to adopt rule changes in 40 TAC, Chapter 745 Licensing, to support and implement Senate Bill 68 - Sasha Rasco, CCL
Ms. Rasco presented Agenda Item 6b, Recommendation to Adopt Rule Changes in 40 TAC, Chapter 745 Licensing, to support and implement Senate Bill 68. These rules implement Senate Bill 68, statutory changes regarding exemptions, fingerprint checks and revocation time frames. Ms. Rasco asked that the Council recommend to Commissioner Heiligenstein and Executive Commissioner Suehs that these rules be adopted as reflected in Agenda Item 6b.
Ms. Bryant asked for a motion. Ms. Epperson moved that the Council recommend for adoption by the Health and Human Services Commission the amendments, repeals and new sections concerning Licensing rules to support and implement Senate Bill 68 as reflected in the council's April 20, 2010, Agenda Item 6(b). Ms. Papadopoulos seconded. Ms. Bryant asked for discussion and called for the vote. The motion passed.
Ms. Bryant acknowledged Sasha Rasco and her staff and thanked them for their work on the rule proposals.
Agenda Item 7 - Adjourn
Ms. Bryant asked for comments from the Council and, hearing none, the meeting was adjourned at 12:23 p.m.