First Focus Senior Policy Advisor of Child Welfare and Child Rights Rricha Mathur was quoted on June 13, 2017 in Governing, speaking about a new group of bills in Texas that address the child welfare and foster care system. 

Texas Tries (Again) to Reboot Its Troubled Child Welfare System (Governing) 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently signed a package of bills aimed at reforming the state’s broken foster care system. Since he took office in 2015, achieving zero child fatalities in the system has been a major priority of his administration.

The changes, which seek to retain effective caseworkers, keep children in their communities and place children with relatives when they have to be separated from their parents, come after years of critical audits, newspaper investigations and high-profile tragedies involving children in the state’s care.

“It’s an important [first] step,” says Andy Homer, director of public affairs with Texas CASA, a group representing court-appointed advocates for children in foster care. But, he adds, “this is not the end of the process. We need to be realistic about how long this is going to take.” [Read more…]