LBB: Department of Family and Protective Services Presentation Given to the Senate Committee on Finance

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Department of Family and Protective Services. Legislative Budget Board Staff.

Department of Family and Protective Services
Summary of Recommendations – Senate

The Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) works with communities to promote safe and healthy families and protect children and vulnerable adults from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. This is done through investigations, services and referrals, and prevention programs.

Summary of Funding Changes and Recommendations – Senate

Selected Fiscal and Policy Issues.
The overall approach to recommendations primarily includes:

LBB staff projections for 2017 through 2021 for forecasted programs:

  • Foster Care Payments;
  • Adoption Subsidies and Permanency Care Assistance (PCA);
  • Relative Caregiver Payments; and
  • Day Care.

Adjusting 2018 expenditures and FTE levels for CPS direct delivery staff based on the August 2018 Monthly Financial Report. Estimating that the agency will reach appropriated FTE levels for caseworkers in fiscal year 2019 and adding FTEs in fiscal years 2020 and 2021 to maintain caseload per worker ratios.

Agency baseline requested amounts for the following:

  • Statewide Intake;
  • Purchased Client Services;
  • Adult Protective Services; and
  • Prevention and Early Intervention Services.

Maintains 2018-19 amounts for administration as well as current information technology projects and services.

Note. The information provided above is only a portion of the overall testimony and presentation. Find the full presentation here: Senate Committee on Finance: DFPS.

Senator Watson inquired about Rider 11, reporting requirements of child removals by race and ethnic group. He stated this is the disproportionality issue we’ve seen reported in the media. What is the content we’re talking about in that rider? LBB stated that the rider has a name change but not a content change.

The Chair inquired about day care at the Workforce Commission (pg. 12). LBB stated that H.B.5 holds that DFPS is in charge of investigations in licensed facilities. The Chair asked whether we get federal funding, and who is in charge of inspections. LBB replied that HHSC in charge of inspections; and there is a federal block grant used for that purpose. The Chair asked for a breakdown of the funding. LBB stated that in 2018, there were additional CCDBG funds made available which covered the supplemental need. Senator Kolkhorst stated that there is a chart on page 11 providing a decent breakdown of how the funds move. There is collaboration between TWC and DFPS on utilizing these dollars. She stated that one of her questions is why protective day care has grown as much as it has. LBB replied they would need to defer to the agency for that question. Sen Kolkhorst asked if federal funds will cover the shortfall of $23.5 million. LBB stated that they are assuming that TWC and DFPS will work to use the federal funds to cover the shortfall.

Senator Watson stated that they should request a report from TWC on the day care usage, waiting lists, etc.

The Chair stated that this is not an entitlement.

Senator Kolkhorst stated that she wanted clarification on page 19, concerning the Rider 21 report. This report does not indicate that community-based care is leading to better outcomes for foster children, nor does it indicate that the CBC provers’ performance is clearly improving over time. She asked who conducted the study. LBB stated that they would defer to the agency. The Senator stated that the information she has does not agree with that report. Sen. Kolkhorst inquired about Family First Prevention Act and the amount of federal dollars that will follow with the legislation. LBB stated they would research that question.

Senator Huffman inquired about the child care licensing. She stated that HHSC has an Exceptional Item 40 for additional FTEs. Rolled into that, was 35 FTEs for child care licensing inspectors. She asked if this is different from DFPS’ request (EI 7) to hire more investigators. LBB replied that they are different— HHSC will license facilities; DFPS will respond to reports and send investigators to the facilities. The Senator stated that there is a need for both.

Senator Perry inquired about foster care redesign and LBB’s comments that desired outcomes are not being met. He asked how many regions we have left to put into operation. LBB replied that there will be two more in FY19. The Senator asked how many in total the plan included. LBB replied that they believed it would be a total of eight. Senator Perry stated that these regions have only been in effect for 1-2 years. LBB stated that it is important to note that no regions are fully implemented at this time. The Senator stated that it seems somewhat premature to look at the data. LBB replied that there are certain performance measures the contractor must take in the first stage to determine readiness for case management. Additionally, child placements take place in Stage 1. When looking at the data at this point, it appears that those target performance measures are not being met.

Senator Watson stated he also has reform bills related to child care, and it’s important for us to know how this plays out. The Senator asked for confirmation on his understanding of some of the items: two sessions ago, as part of the HHSC transformation, we were going to let HHSC do all the inspections and investigations. However, last session, legislation was passed that would move investigations to DFPS. The 35 FTEs is to resuscitate the program that we used to have that would investigate illegal day care centers. That would be more of an HHSC operation as opposed to investigating abuse/neglect in a child care facility. LBB answered in the affirmative.



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