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 2013 Annual Report and Data Book is an overview of the department’s programs, services, performance, and accomplishments, as well as a comprehensive statistical explanation of DFPS services. This report covers the period of September 1, 2012 through August 31, 2013. You can find this report and other information 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 10,672 employees in 287 local offices 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 by CPS.

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

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, to report it.

DFPS’ Statewide Intake program takes reports of abuse, neglect, and exploitation from across the state through its Texas Abuse Hotline (1-800-252-5400) and through a secure website (www.TxAbuseHotline. org). The Texas Abuse Hotline operates 24-hours a day, every day of the year.

Statewide Intake also accepts reports of abuse in facilities operated by the state or 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). Contact 1-800-647-7418 to report abuse, neglect or exploitation in these facilities and programs.

The Statewide Intake program, assigns a priority to all reports that meet the statutory definitions of abuse, neglect or exploitation that is based on the safety of the alleged victim. It then forwards these reports to the appropriate program staff to investigate and notifies law enforcement agencies in cases involving children.

Texas Youth and Runaway Hotline

The toll-free Texas Youth and Runaway Hotline offers crisis intervention, telephone counseling, and referrals to troubled youth and families. Volunteers answer the phones and interact with callers facing a variety of problems including family conflict, delinquency, truancy, and abuse and neglect issues. The hotline phone number is 1-800-989-6884, and is available to youths, their families, school employees, youth care workers, law enforcement agencies, and anyone in need of community services. Learn more by visiting Texas Youth and Runaway Hotline website at TexasYouth.org.

Emergency Resource Rooms

In emergency resource rooms, caseworkers can get emergency supplies or special items like diapers, cleaning supplies, clothes, and small furniture to meet the needs of their clients. CPS resource rooms are called Rainbow Rooms and APS resource rooms are called Silver Star Rooms or Bridge Rooms. 216 emergency resource rooms served 113,105 DFPS clients in FY 2013.

DFPS Volunteers

DFPS caseworkers rely on community action and awareness to assist families struggling with abuse, neglect, and exploitation. In FY 2013, over 4,500 DFPS volunteers and volunteer groups worked along-side DFPS employees to provide awareness, prevention and intervention services
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) handles complaints and legislative inquiries about DFPS programs. The purpose of OCA 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 4,590 complaints, 14,002 general inquiries, and 717 legislative inquiries in FY 2013. OCA validated 8.7 percent of complaints received.