Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday signed a new law that makes a significant and needed investment in the state’s foster care system.
Gov. Abbott signed House Bill 5, which will provide $90 million in additional foster care funding over two years. TACFS worked closely with legislators and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to secure the funding, which is expected to help create additional foster care placements in the state.
TACFS CEO Katie Olse and Vice President of Public Affairs Jamie McCormick were present for the bill signing.
“We are grateful to DFPS, our legislative partners, and Governor Abbott for prioritizing the needs of children and youth in the foster care system,” Olse said. “This is an important step toward making sure that young Texans in foster care have the array of services and supports they need.”
The funding for foster care in House Bill 5 has two main purposes:
- Targeted payments to retain providers and enhance capacity. These supplemental payments would total $35 million per year for each of the next two years. Funds would be provided per child per day for children placed in moderate and above settings, such as residential treatment facilities and treatment foster homes. These additional funds will allow foster care providers to strengthen or grow their ability to care for children with high needs through the hiring of additional staff, additional training for staff, and other recruitment and retention efforts.
- Foster care grants for capacity growth. These grants will total $20 million over two years for the purpose of adding capacity to the foster care system. The grants will focus on serving children and youth who are often the most difficult to place due to their high needs.
“This additional funding demonstrates that we are moving in the right direction as we seek to provide all children and youth in the foster care system with the care and services they need,” Olse said. “DFPS and our elected leaders have worked cooperatively with us to create more capacity for kids who need care. We are also grateful that this funding provides organizations with flexibility to address capacity needs in creative and innovative ways. This is a really important moment in our service to kids, and we are grateful to Governor Abbott for putting this issue on the special-session agenda and signing this needed legislation into law.”Katie Olse, TACFS. CEO