AUSTIN – Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, announced today that the Legislative Budget Board has approved $142 million in emergency funds to address the ongoing crisis at Child Protective Services (CPS).
"Our caseworkers are performing tough jobs and face heart-breaking situations on a daily basis. They deserve these raises, which are needed to reduce an alarming turnover rate that is putting children at risk. We cannot resolve the problems at this agency unless we address caseworker retention, which is the primary focus of this emergency plan,” Senator Nelson, a member of the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) and chair of the Senate Finance Committee, said.
Specifically, the plan provides across-the-board pay raises of $1000/month for CPS caseworkers effective December 1, 2016. It also approves the addition of 828.8 employees to CPS’ workforce but with strict oversight measures to ensure that the agency is improving retention and meeting benchmarks to protect endangered children. The agency must submit to LBB in twice-monthly reports on:
The agency must also conduct exit surveys of staff leaving the agency beginning on January 1, 2017 to determine the reason for leaving and what impact salary increases had on their job satisfaction. Should the LBB determine that the agency has failed to meet the reporting or performance requirements, funding for additional full-time positions not yet filled will be terminated.
Additionally, the LBB maintains the ability to terminate the appropriation authority granted in this request for hiring additional full-time employees if the agency does not demonstrate significant improvement in employee retention.
State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, today announced $10 million in funds from the General Appropriations Act, SB 1,will be distributed to a local nonprofit, Ranch Hands Rescue, and dedicated to supporting survivors of human trafficking.Read More