Perry Announces Agreement on Protective Services Legislation
Gov. Rick Perry today joined legislative leaders, including Sen. Jane Nelson and Rep. Suzanna Hupp, to announce that an agreement has been reached on a comprehensive protective services reform plan that will provide greater protection for Texas' most vulnerable citizens.
"Today Texas is taking a critical step to protect our most vulnerable citizens and ensure that every Texan can live a life of dignity," Perry said. "We have reached an agreement on a Protective Services reform bill that will put hundreds of new investigators on the front lines, significantly reduce caseloads and bureaucratic paperwork and dramatically reorganize services so investigators can better focus on the primary objective of protecting those at risk for neglect or abuse."
Key aspects of the reforms include:
* More than 2,500 additional child protective service workers will be hired.
* CPS caseloads will decrease 40 percent and the amount of time spend on paperwork will be reduced by 58 percent.
* CPS investigators will be free to spend 38 percent more time with children and families.
* APS workers will see caseloads drop to an average of 28 per month and a new education incentive program will help more employees develop advanced skills.
"I designated protective services reform as an emergency issue for this legislature because our safety net for the vulnerable was in desperate need of repair," Perry said. "Senator Nelson and Representative Hupp answered the call, and I applaud them both, as well as Representative Uresti, for the leadership they have demonstrated and the many hours they have devoted to guiding this bill through their chambers. Because of their work, we now have a bill that will provide for 2,500 additional protective service workers who will be better trained, better equipped and better compensated for their tremendously important job."
"By improving management and oversight and by establishing lines of authority that are clearer and tied to strict accountability, this plan will ensure that investigators and caseworkers have the tools and help they need to protect the lives of those at risk of abuse, neglect and lasting harm," Perry said.