The second day of the Sunset Advisory Commission’s public meetings at the Capitol is underway.
Today, the public can comment on recommendations made in recent commission staff reports on how to fix major flaws at state agencies, including the Department of Family Protective Services. A June report [click here for PDF] of the Sunset Advisory Commission had about 100 pages of recommendations for reforming the department.
Sunset staff member and project manager Amy Tripp, who worked on the report, told lawmakers Tuesday that caseworkers complain about the punitive work environment.
"Our review found that DFPS has simply not done enough to shape a work culture that supports and develops caseworkers to successfully address turnover," Tripp said.
Tripp says caseworkers also need mentors more than pay raises.
But State Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, says the Legislature shouldn’t just target turnover when it comes back next January.
"The other cost we ought to be thinking of is the cost to these children," Sen. Uresti said. "You have 66,000 confirmed cases of abuse and neglect in Texas every year. Every year. There’s a cost to those children."
In August, the commission will vote on whether to accept or reject the recommendations to this and other agencies – including the University Interscholastic League and the Department of Aging and Disability Services [click here for PDF].
The decisions will be drafted into legislation filed next session.