Introduction

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) serves the state’s children, youth, families, and people who are elderly or have disabilities.

The 2011 Annual Report and Data Book is an overview of the department’s programs, services, performance, and accomplishments, plus a comprehensive statistical explanation of DFPS services. This report covers the fiscal year beginning September 1, 2010 through August 31, 2011. This report and additional information can be found on the department’s
website at www.dfps.state.tx.us.

Mission

The mission of DFPS is to protect children and people who are elderly or who have disabilities from abuse, neglect, and exploitation by involving clients, families, and communities.

Vision

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services:

  • Is recognized for innovative, effective services.
  • Builds strong, effective partnerships with clients, communities, providers, and state leaders.
  • Provides effective leadership that is accountable for its actions and communicates openly with clients and stakeholders.
  • Supports staff members who are highly motivated, diverse, ethical, well-trained, and professional.

Values

  • We protect the unprotected.
  • We involve clients, families, and communities in decision making.
  • We provide quality services.
  • We are innovative and strive for excellence.
  • We are ethical and accountable.
  • We promote diversity.
  • We value our staff.

DFPS Staffing and Structure

The DFPS Commissioner is appointed by the Executive Commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and directs 10,621 employees in 353 local offices. These offices are located in 11 regions and a state headquarters in Austin. DFPS has four major programs: Child Protective Services (CPS), Adult Protective Services (APS), Child Care Licensing (CCL), and Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI), which is administered as part of CPS.

A nine-member council is appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. The council makes recommendations on the department’s rules and policies and provides a venue for public input.

For more information on staffing, see: DFPS Data Book, pages 1, 7, 23, 29, 75, 91 and 109 under “Expenditures and Total Average Filled Full Time Equivalent (FTE) Staff,” “Worker Demographics,” and “Supervisor Demographics.”

Texas Abuse Hotline

State law requires anyone who believes a child is being abused or neglected, or an adult who is 65 years or older or who has a disability is being abused, neglected, or exploited, must report it. These reports are handled by Texas Abuse Hotline (1-800-252-5400), which is operated by DFPS’ Statewide Intake program. The 24-hour hotline receives reports of suspected abuse or neglect from across the state. Reports can also be made online through a secure website at https://www.TxAbuseHotline.org.

DFPS manages a separate hotline for reporting abuse in state-operated facilities and facilities operated by community providers that serve adults and children with mental illness or intellectual disabilities. These facilities and providers are managed by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). To report abuse, neglect or exploitation in these facilities and programs, the public should contact 1-800-647-7418.

Reports meeting the statutory definitions of abuse and neglect are investigated after intake caseworkers have assigned a priority based on the level of risk to the alleged victim. Intake caseworkers also notify law enforcement agencies of reports involving children.

For more information on Statewide Intake and Intake of Reports, see: DFPS Data Book, pages 1-5, 12-13, 38, 127-133 (APS), 134-139 (CPS).

Emergency Resource Rooms

In emergency resource rooms caseworkers can get emergency supplies or special items such as diapers, cleaning supplies, clothes, and small furniture to meet the needs of their clients. 233 resource rooms called “Rainbow Rooms” by CPS and “Silver Star Rooms” or“Bridge Rooms” by APS, served 68,170 clients in FY 2011.

For more information on Rainbow Rooms, see Giving Texas Children Promise in the Child Protective Services section.

DFPS Volunteers

Though dedicated and skilled, DFPS caseworkers rely on communty action and awareness to assist families struggling with
abuse, neglect, and exploitation. In FY 2011, over 3,000 DFPS volunteers and volunteer groups worked over 135,000 hours, side by side with employees.

Trained DFPS volunteers:

  • Deliver prevention and intervention services.
  • Promote policies and programs that build healthy families.
  • Expand a network of community resources that support and nurture DFPS clients.
  • Make unique contributions to those Texans least able to protect themselves.

Office of Consumer Affairs

The Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA) was created in 1993 to handle complaints and legislative inquiries relating to DFPS programs. The purpose of the complaint process is to address the concerns of DFPS clients, their families, other stakeholders, and the public in a fair and unbiased manner. OCA also documents and shares the results of their reviews with DFPS state and regional administrators to help improve the quality of services. Individuals may contact the OCA by calling a toll number (1-800-720-7777), through the DFPS website, or by email at OCA@DFPS.state.tx.us.

OCA handled 3,783 complaints, 16,430 general inquiries, and 787 legislative inquiries in FY 2011. OCA found that 7.3 percent of complaints and concerns were valid.