Wednesday, May 25, 2022


The nation is jolted by another mass shooting, this time at a Texas elementary school; a mixture of hope and stark realities on the 2nd anniversary of Floyd Murder; a new map shows more Americans live within oil & gas "Threat Radius."


At least 19 children and two adults killed at Texas elementary school, President Biden delivers remarks on shooting from White House, lawmakers plead on gun control, NRA to hold conference in Houston this week, Stacey Abrams and Gov. Brian Kemp favored to win Georgia primary.


From off-Broadway to West Virginia: the stories of the deadly Upper Big Branch mine explosion, baby formula is on its way back to grocery shelves, and federal funds will combat consolidation in meatpacking.

TX Children's Advocates Want Foster Care System Fixed ASAP


Thursday, December 30, 2021   

The Texas foster-care system is suffering a severe shortage of safe and appropriate placement homes, resulting in an expert panel being convened to address the problem and a myriad of others.

Kate Murphy, senior child welfare policy associate at Texans Care for Children, said the number of kids who did not have a safe home within the foster-care system hit a record high in mid-2021, but is now declining.

"We know we've had a really significant spike in the number of kids we couldn't find homes for," Murphy noted. "Part of the reason those numbers are going down is because we're placing kids out of state, or we're using temporary, emergency placements."

In the past two years, at least 65 Texas foster-care operations have closed, more than a third of them for safety reasons, creating a loss of more than 2,000 available beds. Texas lawmakers passed several pieces of legislation this year to address ongoing issues including approving millions to fund caseworkers, retain providers and increase foster-care capacity.

Murphy pointed out many in the state's foster-care system receive a "child without placement" designation, meaning the state cannot find a suitable placement. She added those children have the most acute levels of need, often suffering from trauma or abuse, drug addiction or mental illness.

"So what we're seeing is that kids are coming into care because they can't get their needs met, and then the system is unable to meet those needs," Murphy observed. "We're seeing that happen disproportionately with older youths."

The pandemic has been a unique stressor for older youths, according to Murphy, because of system challenges, but also because they are more vulnerable.

"We have so many young adults who leave foster care and have limited resources," Murphy explained. "They depend on some of the jobs that were most effected by the pandemic, like the service industry."

Murphy is gratified new policies adopted by the state this year will help older youths transitioning out of foster care to establish a rental history and credit rating, a serious challenge for those who have been in the system for a number of years.

Disclosure: Annie E Casey Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Education, Juvenile Justice, and Welfare Reform. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
A bill to phase out plastic packaging has passed several committees and is expected to go to the full California State Assembly for a vote by Friday. (Oceana)


The California State Assembly is expected to vote this week on a bill that would phase out some of the plastics used in online shipping because they …

Health and Wellness

The National Institutes of Health has begun a nationwide research project to better understand how to prevent and treat what's become known as "long" …

Health and Wellness

As Kentucky students head into the unofficial start of summer this weekend, children's advocates are urging families to prioritize physical activity…

George Floyd's murder sparked global protests over systemic racism, but advocates say there's no silver lining to end decades of racial disparities in states such as Minnesota. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

President Joe Biden is using today's second anniversary of George Floyd's murder to sign executive orders on police reform. From criminal justice to …

Health and Wellness

From inflation to climate change, Wisconsin farmers face numerous sources of stress that can't help but affect their health. And one program is …

Nurse aides in New York are required to complete at least 75 hours of formal training. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

As the pandemic began, the federal government waived certain certification requirements for nurse aides to help with health-care worker shortages…

Health and Wellness

May marks both Mental Health Awareness Month and Military Appreciation Month. In Pennsylvania, officials want to ensure that veterans know mental-…


By Bryce Oates for The Daily Yonder. Broadcast version by Chance Dorland for North Carolina News Service, reporting for The Daily Yonder-Public News …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021