TACFS Statement on the Foster Care Lawsuit
Katie Olse, CEO of the Texas Alliance of Child and Family Services, released this statement following this week’s hearing in the lawsuit over Texas’ foster care system:
Texas’ children must be at the center of this process. The children in the state’s care are some of the most vulnerable in Texas — many have suffered the trauma of abuse and neglect.
The community-based organizations serving these children take problems in Texas’ foster care system very seriously, and this legal process has no doubt brought attention to specific issues that need to be addressed. It’s clear that better alignment between state agencies would improve care for vulnerable children. We also need to be sure that all available resources are flowing to help the young people who need them. Most importantly, we cannot lose focus or compassion for those who have already suffered so much.
Child-serving organizations have broad support in communities across Texas. They are heroically serving children coming from terrible circumstances — and their work has been made even tougher by the ongoing pandemic and strain on state resources. Foster parents and other caregivers at these organizations have often put themselves and their families at great risk in order to continue serving these children.
Community-based organizations in Texas are ready to work with legislators, agency officials and our community partners to address problems wherever they exist. We strongly support and will push for reforms that build on advancements in Texas’ foster care system. And we will continue to work, every day and in virtually every community across the state, to heal traumatized children, reunite families and create forever families.
Most of all, we want to ensure that these children receive the care and support they need. Texans need to know there is a dynamic, committed network of organizations across the state working around the clock to serve the children who need our care.