As a member of the Speaker appointed bipartisan work group on the Child Protective Services (CPS) system, I am fully supportive of the initiatives that were presented at the press conference on January 30th. I am especially strong in my support of making DFPS/CPS a stand-alone entity with the Commissioner being appointed directly by the Governor. There are many corrective changes and fixes that must be made to this system that has not functioned well since its inception. The State of Texas is responsible for over 24,000 children in this dysfunctional system. The changes of increasing the number of people in certain positions, such as case workers, and paying them a more reasonable compensation, are extremely important. We must also realize that we can make all of these changes and fixes in the system, that will help in the management of the system. However, if everyone who interacts with a child is not equipped with the understanding of how to talk and work with the children, then perhaps none of these other changes will really make a difference. I am working on a bill that will change the training of everyone who in fact interacts with a child in the DFPS system. My bill will include training that will incorporate trauma and trust evidenced-based training that all who are directly involved with these children will receive. This will include foster parents, case workers, CPS staff and any other person who comes in contact with the children. I look forward to working alongside my colleagues to make these necessary changes and improvements to the CPS system.
(Rep. Miller speaks at 16:20)