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09/21/17   Supreme Court Children's Commission Providing Two Webcasts on Trial Skills on October 3rd
 

On October 3, 2017, in partnership with the Texas State Bar, the Supreme Court Children's Commission is presenting two live webcasts on basic and advanced trial skills in CPS cases, for a total of 6 hours of MCLE credit, including .75 hours of ethics. The morning course is called "Preparing Your CPS Case for Trial: Position Yourself to Win," and the afternoon course is "Basic and Advanced Trial Skills in CPS Litigation: Persuade and Prevail." Discounts and partial scholarships are available. Scholarships are available until a year after the broadcast date, so you can still use a scholarship even if you can't watch the programs on October 3. To learn about the discounts and scholarships and to register for the webcasts, click here.

 

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09/21/17 MCLE Webcasts on Trial Skills Rescheduled
09/20/17 Important Trauma Training - Deadline 9/25
09/05/17 Resources to Help Displaced Children
09/01/17 Receive or Provide Hurricane Help
08/28/17 Supreme Ct. Emergency Order re CPS Cases
08/24/17 MCLE Webcasts on Trial Skills - Postponed
08/01/17 Petition for Child Protection Law Section
07/21/17 Legislative Update & Webcast on July 24
06/01/17 Attorney Training Scholarships- Due June 5
04/14/17 Key Hearing on 2 CPS Reform Bills on 4/17
04/14/17 Call for Nominations - Deadline May 1
04/06/17 Key Hearing on AAL Appointment - April 10
03/23/17 Key Hearing on 2 CPS Reform Bills on 3/27
03/17/17 Key Hearing on 3 CPS Reform Bills on 3/20
03/08/17 Contact House Human Services Committee
03/07/17 HB 6 & Privatization of Case Management
03/01/17 Texas Senate Passes CPS Reform Bill SB 11
03/01/17 House Passes HB 4 & 5 to Reform CPS
02/14/17 Board Certification on Child Welfare Law
02/03/17 Child Protection Day Rally at Capitol-2/7
02/03/17 Free Trial Skills Training - Deadline 2/5
01/31/17 Key Hearing on Bill to Change DFPS - 2/2
01/30/17 See House CPS Workgroup Press Conference
01/09/17 Interim Order in Federal Class Action
12/10/16 New Federal Education Law - ESSA
11/04/16 See Special Masters' Recommendations
10/27/16 See Hank Whitman's Emergency Plan
10/12/16 Hearing - CPS Plan to Improve Child Safety
09/27/16 NCJFCJ Implementation Sites - Due 9/30
09/22/16 Key Federal Legislation Pending Now
09/12/16 Congressional Briefing on Right to Counsel
07/08/16 Hearing-House Human Services Cmte 7/12
07/07/16 Latest Appeal Denied in Class Action
06/27/16 Judicial Travel Scholarships - HHS Summit
06/21/16 New Deputy Asst. Commissioner for CPS
05/09/16 Child Welfare Law Specialization - Comment
04/27/16 Attorney Training Scholarships - Due May 2
04/20/16 Celebration of Karyn Purvis on Sat. 4/23
04/15/16 Hear Hon. Scott McCown on CPS Crisis
04/12/16 Loss of Karyn Purvis, Ph.D. on April 12
04/11/16 New Leaders for DFPS & CPS Appointed
03/21/16 Special Masters Appointed in Federal Case
03/10/16 Call for Nominations - Deadline April 1
03/04/16 DFPS Commissioner Specia Resigns Eff. 5/31
02/26/16 Give Input on CPS Caseworker Skills by 3/5
01/26/16 Update on Federal Case on Foster Care
01/04/16 Free Trial Skills Training - Deadline 1/8
12/17/15 Decision in Foster Care Class Action
11/02/15 Budget Takes from Crime Vicitms Fund
10/28/15 Over-Medication of Foster Children
10/25/15 Report on Misuse of Antipsychotic Drugs
09/09/15 Free Trial Skills Training - Deadline 9/22
08/11/15 Children's Commission's Legislative Update
07/15/15 Update on Changes to Family Code
06/01/15 Attorney Scholarships- Due 6/15 & 6/22
05/22/15 See Family Code Changes Effective April 2
04/22/15 Key Hearings in House Committees on 4/22
04/20/15 See Legislative Update as of April 20
04/20/15 Key Hearings April 20 on HB 1014 & SB 414
03/31/15 Pending Legislation on Child Protection
03/30/15 Call for Nominations - Deadline April 14
03/05/15 Free Trial Skills Training - Deadline 3/10
11/19/14 Federal Student Aid for Foster Youth
11/12/14 Public Hearing on HHSC & DFPS Nov. 13
10/10/14 See CPS Case Process Brief & Flowcharts
09/22/14 Help on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
09/12/14 NACC Membership Discount Extended-10/31
09/01/14 New Rules For Screening Foster Parents
08/01/14 Foster Care Redesign Contract Terminated
06/17/14 Key Hearings on DFPS 6/24 & 6/25
06/06/14 Supreme Court Rules on Unfound Ground
06/03/14 Statewide Child Welfare Law Conference
05/30/14 Attorney Training Scholarships-Due 6/27
05/15/14 House Select Committee on Child Protection
04/22/14 Key Hearing on Juvenile Justice - 4/22
04/14/14 Key Hearing on Foster Care Redesign - 4/15
03/05/14 April 9 Call for Nominations - Bar Award
02/18/14 New Paper Takes Aim at ICPC Flaws
02/12/14 Key Senate Hearing on CPS - Thurs., 2/20
02/03/14 DOJ Asked to Investigate ICWA Violations
01/21/14 USSC to Interpret Child Porn Restitution
01/17/14 New CPS Asst. Commissioner Appointed
01/17/14 New Transitional Housing for Young Adults
10/22/13 See Legislative Update on Family Code
10/08/13 TLC Now Offers Online CLE Programs
10/04/13 New Resources - Education Advocacy
10/03/13 See Paper Analyzing In re E.C.R.
09/06/13 New Resources - Trauma-Informed Practice
09/05/13 See Compelling Video on ICWA & the Courts
08/23/13 ICE Now Focusing on Parental Interests
08/23/13 See Legislative Update on Child Abuse
08/22/13 Give National Input on Attorney Pay Rates
07/30/13 FBI Thwarts Child Prostitution Scheme
06/26/13 USSC Allows Non-Indian Adoption - ICWA
06/17/13 TX SCt on O Grounds & Removal for "Risk"
06/17/13 Attorney Training Scholarships - Due 7/5
05/28/13 Attorney Training Scholarships - Due 6/14
05/20/13 Statewide Child Welfare Law Conference
04/22/13 Key Legislative Hearings on April 22 & 23
04/16/13 Key Hearings & New Legislative Update
04/03/13 Child-Related Bills with Recent Activity
03/29/13 Child Protection Day at Capitol - April 5
03/29/13 See Updated Legislative Summary
03/20/13 April 8 Call for Nominations - Bar Award
03/12/13 Scholarships for ABA Training-Due April 12
03/11/13 Hearing on Protective Orders - Mar. 12
02/28/13 Study on Mental Health of Detained Youth
02/18/13 Chart of Bills Affecting CPS Cases
02/14/13 Hearing on Child Protection Issues Feb. 19
02/11/13 Key Hearing on DFPS Budget - Feb. 14
02/01/13 Pending Legislation on Child Protection
01/30/13 GAO Report on Use of Title IV-B Funds
01/09/13 New Comm'n on Child Abuse Deaths
01/02/13 Adoption Tax Credit Made Permanent
01/01/13 Congress Passes Bill to Amend FERPA
12/31/12 GAO Report on Children's Mental Health
12/01/12 Judge Specia New Commissioner of DFPS
10/12/12 Deportation Insufficient for Termination
09/13/12 Key Hearing on Foster Care Redesign
08/13/12 LSSS Loses Bid to Privatize Foster Care
08/07/12 ABA Passes Resolution Regarding FASD
07/09/12 TX SCt Rules on Citation by Publication
06/19/12 Attorney Training Scholarships-Due 6/28
05/24/12 Attorney Training Scholarships - Due 6/6
05/21/12 Children's Justice Act Grants - Due 6/ 29
05/03/12 Seminal Report -Education of Foster Youth
03/23/12 5th Cir. Decertifies Class re Foster Care
03/15/12 Report - Foster Care Licensing Standards
03/06/12 Report on Effect of CPS Budget on Services
02/03/12 TLC Replicates Online Center for Alabama
01/19/12 TX Settles Risperdal Suit for $158M
01/09/12 April 13 Call for Nominations - Bar Award
12/15/11 Bench Book on Child-Friendly Courtrooms
10/17/11 BBC Report on US Child Abuse Deaths
10/01/11 New Law on Foster Youth Identity Theft
09/29/11 NCJFCJ Judicial Training Scholarships
09/28/11 See Legislative Summary Regarding CPS
09/19/11 Study on Link Between Recession & Abuse
08/17/11 See Texas Child Well-Being Statistics
08/07/11 Possible Court Protest on Friday, Aug. 12
07/13/11 See Legislative Update on Child Abuse
06/20/11 Attorney Training Scholarships-Due 6/24
06/20/11 USSC Rules Re Child Support Obligor
06/16/11 USSC Holds Age Is a Factor for Miranda
05/05/11 Foster Care Redesign- Comment by 6/1
05/05/11 Attorney Training Scholarships-Due 5/20
04/11/11 See Legislative Update re Child Protection
03/31/11 Scholarships for ABA Training-Due April 8
03/29/11 Class Action Filed re TX Foster Children
03/15/11 April 1 Call for Nominations - Bar Award
02/25/11 Pending Legislation on Child Protection
12/14/10 Nat'l Coalition to End Child Abuse Deaths
12/09/10 Free ABA Training, Dec. 15 at 11:00 am
12/08/10 ABA Seeks Input on Youth in Court
11/19/10 TLC Receives Award for Innovation
10/11/10 TLC Selected as Award Finalist
09/29/10 Faller Discusses Parental Alienation Issue
09/21/10 TX Ranks 50th in Child Abuse Prevention
09/20/10 New Report on Deaths From Child Abuse
09/14/10 Abused, Undocumented Children
08/11/10 Paper on Constitutional Rights of Children
08/11/10 R. Darin Darby Receives State Bar Award
08/10/10 ABA Policies on Child Abuse Proceedings
07/27/10 Jeffs' Convictions Reversed & Remanded
07/22/10 Child Abuse Cmte. Celebrates 25 Years
07/01/10 Travis County Model Court Newsletter
06/30/10 Scholarships for Child Abuse Workshop
05/01/10 DFPS to Redesign Foster Care in Texas
04/30/10 Shaken Baby Injuries Rise
04/15/10 See Letters by Hon, John Specia (Ret.)
04/13/10 Model Court's Seminar on Family Finding
04/09/10 Managing Attorney Position Open in Austin
03/24/10 April 1 Call for Nominations - Bar Award
03/18/10 NACC Reports on Nebraska GAL System
03/17/10 Third Circuit Issues First Sexting Opinion
03/02/10 Annual Report from Austin Model Court
02/26/10 Childress to Answer Judges' Questions
02/25/10 NACC Scholarships Available on March 1
02/18/10 New Tools for Judges in JD Cases
02/12/10 CCCP Releases 2009-10 Databook
12/16/09 See GAO Report on Seclusion & Restraint
11/10/09 "Sexploited" Teens Testify to House Cmte.
10/29/09 Challenge to TX Public-Indecency Law
10/28/09 Scholarships -Juv. Drug Court Training
10/26/09 FLDS Criminal Trial Begins in Eldorado
10/21/09 TX Leads Nation in Child Abuse Deaths
09/29/09 New Email Network for Drug Court Judges
09/22/09 Pro Bono Attorneys Available to Help You
08/11/09 See Charles Childress' Legislative Update
08/03/09 Richard Lavallo Receives State Bar Award
08/01/09 TLC's Director Receives National Award
07/16/09 See Update on Legislation Impacting CPS
07/01/09 See Legislative Update on Child Abuse
06/29/09 Paper on Gates Case Implications
06/25/09 USSC Finds AZ Strip Search Illegal
06/19/09 Gov. Perry Vetoes SB 1440
04/01/09 Charles Childress Joins TLC's Team
04/01/09 Raise Awareness About Child Abuse
03/10/09 Read House Testimony on CPS
03/02/09 Understanding Fostering Connections
02/28/09 Pending Legislation on Child Abuse
02/17/09 Call for Nominations for State Bar Award
02/12/09 Federal Court Decides Autism Case
02/04/09 CPPP Analyzes CPS Caseworker Turnover
01/06/09 See 2009 Statistics on Texas Children
12/22/08 See DFPS' Report on Eldorado FLDS Case
12/17/08 Representing Immigrant Children
12/12/08 Shop Online, Save Money, & Help TLC!
12/10/08 TLC Launches Website for California
11/17/08 Report on Medical Plan for Foster Children
11/03/08 Report on Impact of Federal Law on TX
10/13/08 Sex Offenders Must Register Email
10/08/08 Child Pornography Prosecution Expanded
10/08/08 Runaway and Homeless Youth Act
10/07/08 New Federal Child Welfare Law
09/22/08 TDFPS Kinship Care Program Evaluated
09/10/08 Association of Child Protection Judges
08/22/08 TDFPS Issues Advisory After Gates
08/18/08 Hon. S. McCown re 4th Amendment
08/11/08 Charles Childress Receives Award
08/01/08 FLDS Children's Attorney Reimbursement
07/28/08 Fourth Amendment & CPS Investigations
06/25/08 Death Penalty for Child Rape Rejected
06/25/08 USSC Upholds Confrontation Right
06/02/08 Judge Orders Return of FLDS Children
05/29/08 Supreme Court Denies Writ in FLDS Case
05/22/08 Court of Appeals Rules in FLDS Case
05/19/08 USSC Rules on Child Pornography
05/16/08 Mentors Available for FLDS Attorneys
05/01/08 Amicus Brief Filed in FLDS Case
04/14/08 TLC Is Assisting in FLDS Case
04/14/08 FLDS Case Needs Pro Bono Mentors
03/17/08 CJE: Family Violence & Child Abuse Credit
03/17/08 May 9 CLE on Child Molesters
02/02/08 See Report on Educating Foster Children
12/20/07 TLC's Director on Commission's Council
12/05/07 CJA Grant Funds Are Available
11/30/07 Supreme Court Awards Grant to TLC
11/20/07 Supreme Court Creates New Commission
11/12/07 ABA Center Staff Attorney Job Posting
11/01/07 FASD Funding for Courts and Others
10/08/07 See Report on Federal Funds for CPS
09/25/07 Supreme Court Holds Public Hearing
09/11/07 Supreme Court Sets Public Hearing
08/24/07 See Sampson's Legislative Update
08/13/07 Hon. Gil Jones Serves as Moderator
08/09/07 Hurley Honored by State Bar Committee
07/17/07 See TLC's Legislative Update
06/19/07 SB 758 Repeals CPS Privatization
05/31/07 Exciting Communication Tool for Judges!
05/31/07 TLC Begins Pro Bono Network
04/04/07 CA Is First State to Use TLC Model
04/03/07 CPPP Issues Paper on Privatization
03/22/07 SB 758 Committee Substitute Filed
03/15/07 Dr. Kellogg Available for Questions
01/22/07 CPPP Issues Child Protection Papers
12/10/06 Website Helps Youth Transition
12/06/06 Bill Filed to Deprivatize Certain Services
11/30/06 Nat'l Methamphetamine Awareness Day
11/14/06 Sen. Nelson Considers CPS Privatization
11/09/06 Class Action Against FL Agency
10/25/06 Dr. Bruce Perry to Speak in Dallas
10/14/06 Child Welfare Law Specialists Certified
08/10/06 Statement of Points Must Be Specific
08/03/06 Frivolous Hearing Held Constitutional
07/14/06 Uniform Act Regarding Children Published
05/16/06 Standing Challenged by Motion to Dismiss
03/29/06 Unborn Child Drug Convictions Reversed
03/27/06 C. Childress Joins Colleague Connection!
02/28/06 AG Says 'Meet' w/ Child Means in Person
02/09/06 Houston Court Upholds Embryo Contract
01/16/06 Link to CPS & Licensing Handbooks Here
12/28/05 AG Says New Law Is Unconstitutional
11/14/05 Evidence Expert to Take Site Users' Calls
10/11/05 ABA Substance Abuse CLE to Be at SMU
07/22/05 Can't Find It Here? Request a Resource!
07/22/05 See Sampson/Tindall's Legislative Update
06/27/05 USSC Rules on Protective Orders
06/15/05 Colleague Connection Has GROWN!
06/01/05 TLC Helps Other States Create Websites
05/31/05 Senate Bill 6 Makes Sweeping Changes
05/15/05 Seek/Share Information on Experts
05/07/05 TLC's Coming Attractions
02/17/05 Questions? Contact TLC's Help Desk
VIEW ALL OTHER NEWS ITEMS(If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, click here.)
11/10/09   Teens Testify Before U.S. House Judiciary Committee on Sexually Exploited Girls in the Juvenile Justice System
 

Sexually exploited teens, Tiffany Rivera and Nadeyah Shereff, who had been locked in detention facilities through the juvenile justice system under charges of prostitution, testified before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee about their experiences. Tiffany recounted being the victim of continuous rape and commercial sexual exploitation and the trauma she endured in detention. Click here to view a portion of their testimony.

10/29/09   Mother Challenges Law Allowing Parents to Show Children Pornography
 

The mother of three young daughters is challenging a law that allows parents to show children pornography. The mother said that the children's father awoke two of the daughters during the night to show them pornography on his computer and that the girls later told a counselor, who reported it to authorities. The DA concluded that he was unable to prosecute the father due to Texas' public-indecency law. To read more about the situation and the conflicting opinions about the law, click here.

10/28/09   NCJFCJ Is Providing Scholarships for a Workshop on Designing a Juvenile Drug Court
 

From December 1-4, 2009, The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges is sponsoring "Designing Your Juvenile Drug Court," an intensive workshop for juvenile drug court judges and coordinators. Travel and lodging scholarships are available for three members of your team and are awarded on a first come, first served basis. Click here for more information about the workshop and to learn how to apply for a scholarship.

10/26/09   Child Sexual Assault Trial Begins Against Raymond Merril Jessop
 

On Monday, October 26, in Eldorado, Texas, the first criminal trial against a member of the Eldorado FLDS sect began with jury selection. Raymond Merrill Jessop is accused of sexually assaulting an underage girl whom he allegedly took as his wife. The original jury call affected the small town of Eldorado, causing some offices to close for the day. The pool of potential jurors included members of the FLDS sect. Voir dire began Monday afternoon. Click here to read a local newspaper article about the trial. Click here to read about the impact on the town, and here to read about the status of the jury selection process.

10/21/09   Every Child Matters Releases Report Detailing Child Abuse Deaths and Statistics in the United States
 

Every Child Matters has determined that from 2001-2007 at least 10,440 children died in the U.S. from child abuse and neglect, more than in any other wealthy nation. Their new report details the number of deaths in each state, the amount of money each state spends to protect children, and the costs of child abuse. Texas ranks number one in child abuse deaths and 44th on per capita spending on child welfare. Click here to read the full report.

09/29/09   TLC Launches New Email Network for Family Drug Treatment Courts
 

TLC is pleased to announce the launch of a new email network, "Colleague Connection--Drug Court Judges." This secure, private email network is being provided to assist any Texas judge presiding over a family drug treatment court and judges who are considering developing a family drug treatment court. Judges can seek colleagues' expertise on questions of interest and discuss best practices in drug court issues and policies. Participation is strictly limited to active Texas judges. TLC thanks Hon. Gil Jones for graciously agreeing to serve as the moderator for this email network. To enroll, judges who are already registered for the TLC website's services can simply go to "Communication Tools" on the blue menu bar above; then click on "Colleague Connection Email Networks" on the resulting drop-down. You will then be able to click on "Join list" for Colleague Connection--Drug Court Judges. Be sure to enroll today so you don't miss out on the first messages! You are always welcome to call TLC's Help Desk at 800-993-5TLC (5852) if you have any questions regarding signing up for this new, free service. For more information about family drug treatment courts, please see Section 264.801 of the Texas Family Code.

09/22/09   TLC, TYLA, and the State Bar's Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect Are Recruiting Pro Bono Attorneys to Help in Your Cases
 

TLC is pleased to announce that the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) and the State Bar's Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect have joined forces with TLC to recruit pro bono attorneys to assist in child abuse cases. Pro bono attorneys are available to assist you with issues that arise that may be outside your area of expertise, such as disability issues, SSI benefits, and immigration law. Attorneys with less experience can even find mentors to help with the child abuse case itself or with matters such as trial skills or preparation and appellate issues. Volunteers are also willing to serve as pro bono advocates for children/youth growing up in the permanent managing conservatorship (PMC) of the state. In counties that provide court-appointed counsel but have children placed out of county, the child's appointed attorney can locate pro bono co-counsel in the county where the child is placed to assist in meeting with the child and his/her service providers. Appointed attorneys can find potential pro bono co-counsel in other counties by checking the list in the Pro Bono section of the TLC website and asking the court to appoint the co-counsel. In counties that do not appoint attorneys or CASA as advocates for children in the PMC of the state, judges may contact TLC and request a list of volunteer attorneys available in that county. Our purpose is to fill any void in representation and not to displace court-appointed advocates already filling this need. To volunteer for the Pro Bono Network, to learn more about the Pro Bono PMC project, or to find a volunteer to assist you in your cases, please go to "Pro Bono" on the blue menu bar above. The October 2009 issue of the Texas Bar Journal includes an article about the PMC pro bono project. Click here to read the article.

08/11/09   Charles Childress' Comprehensive Legislative Update Is Available Here
 

Charles Childress, a contributor and commentator for Sampson and Tindall's Texas Family Code Annotated, has graciously provided TLC with his compilation of the 2009 legislative changes of interest to judges and attorneys handling child protective services cases and child support matters. This legislative update provides a comprehensive report of substantive changes to the Texas Family Code made in the 81st legislative session, as well as changes to other statutes of interest. TLC is delighted that Mr. Childress joined TLC's team of attorneys as a Consulting Attorney this spring. Click here to view the legislative update.

08/03/09   Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect Honors Richard Lavallo with Fairy Davenport Rutland Award
 

The State Bar's Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect (the "Child Abuse Committee") honored Richard Lavallo as the recipient of its annual Fairy Davenport Rutland Award for Distinguished Service to Children and Families. The award is named after Ms. Rutland in recognition of her exceptional leadership as a founding member and chair of the Committee for over 20 years and her continuing dedication and many contributions to the field of child welfare. The current Chair of the Child Abuse Committee, Barbara Elias-Perciful, presented the award to Mr. Lavallo at the Advanced Family Law Course in August. Mr. Lavallo is the Legal Director of Advocacy, Inc. He has devoted his career of over 20 twenty years to serving people with disabilities and those who live in poverty and has enforced children's rights in numerous contexts. Click here to read the nomination letter. Click here to see a picture of the award presentation.

08/01/09   TLC's Director Receives ABA's National Child Advocacy Award
 

TLC's Director, Barbara Elias-Perciful, was honored by the American Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division as the Distinguished Lawyer Recipient of the 2009 Child Advocacy Award for her service on behalf of abused and neglected children. This prestigous award is based on an individual's personal achievements and impact in helping abused and neglected children. Ms. Elias-Perciful was presented with the award at a ceremony during the ABA's annual meeting in Chicago this August. Click here to view the ABA's announcement of the award. Click here for more details.

07/16/09   Center for Public Policy Priorities Issues Paper on New Legislation Impacting CPS
 

The Center for Public Policy Priorities ("CPPP") has released a paper discussing new legislation impacting Child Protective Services, which was enacted in the 81st Legislative Session. CPPP also provides its recommendations for next steps following this legislation. Click here to view the paper.

07/01/09   Update on New Legislation Concerning Child Abuse and Neglect Is Now Available Here
 

Sandra Hachem, Co-Chair of the Subcomittee on Legislation for the State Bar's Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect, has graciously provided TLC with her compilation of the latest updates of legislation concerning child abuse and neglect. Click here to view Ms. Hachem's update on legislation from the 81st Legislative Session.

06/29/09   Center for Public Policy Priorities Issues a Policy Paper on Implications of the Gates Case
 

The Center for Public Policy Priorities has released a policy paper discussing the impact of the Gates decision on Child Protective Services and making recommendations for judges and CPS. The paper states that, in practice, the Gates definition of "exigent circumstances" necessary to enter or remain in a home, transport a child for an interview, or remove a child from a parent's custody may be stricter than pre-Gates. Since the time of the Gates decision, the proportion of children interviewed at children's advocacy centers has decreased noticeably; the proportion of cases with a "ruled out" designation has increased; and a smaller proportion of cases have been opened for services. Also, removals have dropped significantly. To read the full report and recommendations, please click here.

06/25/09   U.S. Supreme Court Finds that a Strip Search by Arizona School Officials Was Illegal
 

On June 25, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Arizona school officials violated the Fourth Amendment's ban on unreasonable searches when they strip searched a teenage girl to try to find prescription-strength ibuprofen. In the 8-1 opinion, the Court held that the school's searches of the girl's backpack and outer clothes were permissible but that the school officials acted illegally when they asked to search her underwear. Justice David Souter wrote that there was no indication that the girl posed a danger to the other students, and there was no indication that the pills were in her underwear. Additionally, the Supreme Court ruled that the school officials in this case are immune from liability, but the Court remanded for consideration whether the school district is liable to the student. To read the opinion, please click here.

06/19/09   Gov. Perry Vetoes SB 1440
 

On June 19, 2009, Governor Rick Perry vetoed SB 1440, despite the fact that it had passed unanimously in both the House and the Senate. This bill set forth a procedure for Child Protective Services to obtain a civil warrant for investigating child abuse and neglect. To read Governor Perry's veto statement on SB 1440, please click here.

04/01/09   Charles Childress Has Joined TLC's Team as a Consulting Attorney
 

TLC is delighted to announce that Charles Childress has joined TLC's team of attorneys as a Consulting Attorney. Mr. Childress has made significant and numerous contributions to the field of child advocacy, having served as Co-Director of the Children's Rights Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law, Senior Attorney at the Department of Family and Protective Services, and Chief Staff Attorney for the Fourth Court of Appeals, to name a few. He serves as a contributor and commentator for Sampson and Tindall's Texas Family Code Annotated. He was instrumental in the passage of landmark legislation that limits children's time in foster care and was named outstanding legislative liaison for the 2001 legislative session by the DFPS Office of General Counsel. Mr. Childress has devoted his career to serving children and families and was the 2008 recipient of the Fairy Davenport Rutland Award for Distinguished Service to Children and Families, given by the Texas State Bar's Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect. .Click here to read Mr. Childress' resume.

04/01/09   Go Blue to End Child Abuse and Neglect!
 

On Wednesday, April 8, TDFPS is encouraging all businesses, organizations, agencies, and individuals throughout Texas to wear blue to end child abuse and neglect. You can raise awareness by wearing a blue shirt, posting "Keep Kids Safe" and "Stop Child Abuse" signs, wearing blue lapel ribbons, and encouraging others to do the same. Let's all wear blue to help end child abuse and neglect! Please contact TDFPS for more information.

03/10/09   House Committee on Human Services Hears Testimony on CPS
 

On March 10, 2009, the House Committee on Human Services heard invited testimony related to Child Protective Services. Click here to view a report of the testimony.

03/02/09   New Resource Answers Questions about the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008
 

Prepared by over fifteen organizations, including the Children's Defense Fund and the ABA Center on Children and the Law, New Help for Children Raised by Grandparents and Other Relatives: Questions and Answers About the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 provides information, in a question and answer format, about the new act and methods for implementing the improvements for children being raised by grandparents and relatives. The Guide also provides an implementation chronology and a list of selected resources. Please click here to read the article.

02/28/09   State Bar's Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect Shares Its Summaries of Pending Legislation
 

The Subcommittee on Legislation of the State Bar's Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect (the "Committee") prepares summaries of pending legislation relating to child abuse and neglect. These summaries include comments where there are items of possible concern. TLC thanks the Committee for allowing us to share these summaries with our users. Please note that the comments do not reflect the official position of the Committee or of TLC. To view the summaries of key bills filed through February 28, 2009, click here.

02/17/09   The State Bar's Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect Seeks Nominations for Its Annual Fairy Davenport Rutland Award for Distinguished Service to Children and Families
 

The State Bar's Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect is seeking nominations for its annual Fairy Davenport Rutland Award for Distinguished Service to Children and Families. The award is named after Ms. Rutland in recognition of her exceptional leadership as a founding member and chair of the Committee for over 20 years and her continuing dedication and many contributions to the field of child welfare. The award honors an attorney who has made a substantial contribution to the field of advocacy for abused and neglected children. The deadline for nominations is April 1, 2009. Click here to view the nomination form.

02/12/09   U.S. Court of Federal Claims Decides Autism Case
 

On February 12, 2009, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims determined, in three cases, that thimerosal-containing vaccinations do not contribute to immune dysfunction and that the MMR vaccine does not contribute to either autism or gastrointestinal dysfunction. To read the opinions, please click here.

02/04/09   CPPP Issues Paper on Caseworker Turnover within CPS
 

Children need stability and consistency in their lives, especially those in the child welfare system. Thus, the Center for Public Policy Priorities has issued a paper analyzing the high turnover rate within Texas' Child Protective Services, citing contributing factors such as the hiring process, recruiting issues, supervisor effectiveness, and failure to engage workers at the outset. The paper makes recommendations about how turnover can be reduced, such as a hiring process which includes supervisors, establising pay parity among the units, and reducing caseloads to a manageable level. Click here to read the paper.

01/06/09   Texas Children Trail Nation's Youth
 

According to a recent report by Texans Care for Children, Texas has yet to increase its national ranking on several child welfare issues. Texas children lag behind others in the country in the areas of health, economic security, and safety. Texas ranked last among states in health insurance coverage for teens, teen pregnancy prevention, and adults who complete high school. Infant mortality rates have increased, and Texas is ranked 45 of 50 states in deaths due to child abuse and neglect. More children are repeating earlier grades. On a positive note, Texas increased its ranking for child support collection and childhood vaccinations. Click here to read the press release. Click here to read the full report.

12/22/08   DFPS Releases Report on the Eldorado Investigation and Defends Its Actions
 

On December 22, 2008, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services released a report on its investigation of the FLDS compound in Eldorado. Sixty-two percent of the families investigated had a confirmed finding of abuse or neglect, with 124 perpetrators. The report documents DFPS's actions in the case, the need for the investigation, the services offered, the results, and the costs of the investigation. To read the full report, please click here.

12/17/08   Human Rights Initiative Offers Assistance with Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Cases
 

Many undocumented abused and neglected children qualify for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), which will assist them in becoming a US citizen. Melissa Weaver, the Women and Children's Program Attorney at the Human Rights Initiative (HRI), is available to help attorneys whose clients may qualify for SIJS. Melissa is a participant in Colleague Connection -- Attorneys, and attorneys can send questions to Melissa through that email network. Judges can refer parties to HRI for assistance. Click here for more information about SIJS and the Human Rights Initiative. HRI's manuals on representing immigrant children can be found in the manuals section of the TLC website and under the topic "Immigrant Children."

12/12/08   Your Online Shopping Directs Retailers' Donations to TLC!
 

As the holidays approach, you may be looking for convenient, secure ways to do your holiday shopping. Here is a new way to shop online at over 600 major retailers, with special discounts, while these retailers generously donate a portion of the proceeds of your purchase to TLC! Participants include Southwest Airlines, Budget, Best Buy, Office Depot, Staples, OfficeMax, Barnes & Noble, Target, WalMart, Sears, AT&T, CompUSA, Hewlett Packard, Dell, Kodak, Macy's, 1-800-Pet-Meds, Netflix, etc. Best of all, this service is available year-round, giving you an opportunity to support our work with children on an ongoing basis, at no cost to you. Also, please tell your friends about this opportunity. Click here to learn more. (Once you select a retailer, you are taken to that retailer's online store to complete your transaction---with all of the product selection, safety, and security you expect from these major retailers.) We greatly appreciate your support and all you are doing to serve Texas' children.

12/10/08   TLC Has Launched the Website It Created and Is Hosting for the State of California
 

TLC is pleased to announce that we have created and are hosting a website modeled after the TLC site for the Administrative Office of the Courts of California and its Center for Families, Children and the Courts. This is the first organization to enlist TLC's assistance in designing and hosting a similar site to benefit their child advocacy community. This marks a momentous leap in realizing our vision of a network of sites across the nation, together furthering the common goal of helping children through the sharing of information and best practices. If you are interested in creating a site for the child advocacy community in your state based on the TLC site, please contact us at 800-993-5TLC (5852) or email TexasLawyersforChildren@yahoo.com.

11/17/08   Center for Public Policy Priorities Reports on Initial Implementation of Managed Medical Care Program for Foster Children
 

On November 17, 2008, the Center for Public Policy Priorities issued a report on the first six months of STAR Health, a Medicaid managed care program for foster children, implemented by the Health and Human Services Commission and the Department of Family and Protective Services. The report reviews health care needs of foster children and the various managed care models. It then examines STAR Health and makes recommendations for improvements. CPPP recommends changing the name of the program to prevent confusion with a similarly-named health program, evaluating the Health Passport program, changing elements of the provider requirements for court testimony, and better use of performance measures in evaluating managed care projects. CPPP notes that remaining questions to be addressed include loss of medical benefits as foster children leave the system, adequacy of availability of behavioral health services, and better access to medical services through regular Medicaid than through STAR Health. To see the report, click here.

11/03/08   Center for Public Policy Priorities Considers Impact of New Federal Child Welfare Law on Texas
 

On November 3, 2008, the Center for Public Policy Priorities issued a summary and analysis of the impact on Texas of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, the new federal law which overhauls various child welfare programs. Click here to view CPPP's policy paper, entitled "New Federal Foster Care Legislation: What It Could Mean for Texas."


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