PAL Staff are caseworkers and coordinate support services that help older youth in foster care transition from DFPS care and support them to a successful adulthood.

What is the Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) Program?

DFPS Transitional Living Services includes the PAL and Education and Training Voucher (ETV) programs. The PAL program provides services and benefits to youth and young adults ages 16 - 21 which teach them about how to transition to a successful adulthood. In some cases, PAL gives support to youth ages 15 - 16 when funding is available, and ETV is available to young adults up to age 23.

What kinds of things will I be doing?

  • Determining if youth or young adults both in and out of foster care need PAL services, such as life skills training, case management, or financial help.
  • Determining if young adults are eligible for the Return to Care program.
  • Providing information to youth or young adults about the dangers of Human Trafficking and Labor Trafficking, and informing them about any available services and resources.
  • Collecting outcomes and service data for the federal National Youth in Transition Database for Texas.
  • Making sure PAL services meet quality standards.
  • Giving input to help youth as they develop their transition plan from foster care to a successful adulthood.
  • Developing the regional annual plan and budget, with help from regional budget analysts and other staff.
  • Providing education and training to CPS caseworkers, service providers, caregivers, and the community about available services and resources to meet the needs of youth who are moving from foster care to a successful adulthood.
  • Participating in state-wide meetings with PAL team members to make sure the program stays consistent, to improve program outcomes, to understand policy changes, and use best practices.
  • Planning, coordinating, transporting and supervising state-wide and regional conferences and events, such as Texas Teen Conference or College Conference.
  • Documenting services provided to youth and young adults receiving PAL services and providing follow-up reports after youth have left foster care.

Do I need a college degree?

No. Entry level Child Protective Services Specialist I can have:

  • A  Bachelor's degree OR an Associate's degree plus two (2) years of relevant work experience.


  • 60 college credit hours plus two (2) years relevant work experience OR 90 college credit hours plus one (1) year of relevant work experience.

Examples of relevant work experience in social, human, or protective services include paid or volunteer work within social service agencies or communities providing services to families or other at-risk populations.

What would my salary be?

The starting salary range is $3816.65 to $4094.50 per month and is based on your experience and qualifications.

Will I get trained on what to do?

Yes! You will have lots of great training before you begin your job.  First, you will receive basic caseworker training.  Then, you will be teamed with other PAL staff across the state for on-the-job training. We also give you materials to help guide you through the day-to day duties.

Are their opportunities for career advancement?

Yes! You will get ongoing training and there are various levels of caseworker certifications.

Conditions of Employment

You must have a valid Texas driver's license.  CPS will also request a Criminal Background Check and CPS History check on all applicants.

Want to learn more about what it's like to work for CPS?