Texas’ Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) is moving forward with its privatization of foster care in 30 new counties across the state.
The “community-based care” model allows the state to contract with private companies to recruit foster parents, locate suitable homes for children in foster care, and provide reunification services to families.
The model is currently being used in seven counties in and around Fort Worth, and was formally expanded by the 2017 legislature.
Texas State Representative James Frank (R) told the Texas Standard that the move toward privatization is all about improved outcomes for kids, including keeping them closer to their homes. According to Frank, about 30 percent of kids in the newly added regions are placed in other parts of the state, potentially many miles from their families.
“Where the community-based [model] is rolled out around Fort Worth, they’ve got it down to almost 10 percent, almost all of the kids are staying in the region, because that organization is responsible for making sure foster homes are available,” Frank said.
According to the DFPS website, development and implementation of the model is steered by a 24-member committee including providers, trade associations, foster youth alumni, the judiciary, advocates and CPS leadership.
The expansion is slated to be rolled out in December 2018 and will be evaluated by the legislature in 2019.