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Texas

May 13, 2003

House Bill 1752: Child Protective Services Reform

Sponsor:
Representative Hupp

Summary:
Homeschoolers have tremendous opportunity to "jump start" legislation to curb the power of Child Protective Services in Texas and protect parent's rights. H.B. 1752 will:

  1. Remove all discretion from the CPS workers to conduct medical, psychological, or psychiatric evaluations. This bill will require either consent of the parent or a court order.

  2. Require videotaping of all children interviewed by the CPS and a copy made available to the parents. This will help prevent CPS workers form twisting the words of children.

  3. Give parents, who are threatened with having their children temporarily removed during an investigation, the right to choose who the child will stay with during that time. This will protect children from being traumatized at juvenile homes and by foster care providers.

Status:
Dead

Action Requested:
No action is requested.

Background:

HSLDA has been working on H.B. 1752 since last Fall. Texas Legislative Counsel, Tom Sanders has lobbied the chairman and worked with the sponsor.

We at HSLDA believe that abuse by the Child Protective Services (CPS) is the single greatest threat to homeschoolers in Texas. We handle member investigations, based on false allegations, by CPS workers on a regular basis.

We have worked on this issue at the federal level, where an important measure is on the verge of passage — the "Keep Families Safe Act" would require all child protective workers throughout the country to reveal the allegations to the person being investigated at the initial contact. Texas CPS workers routinely refuse to tell allegations unless the family allows them entry their home to interrogate the children privately.

Another federal HSLDA amendment will require all social workers around the country to be specifically trained in their duty to protect the statutory and constitutional rights of those they are investigating. This requirement is long overdue!

We believe Texas H.B. 1752 would have passed out of committee 8 to 1 in early April. However, due to the intense opposition of the social workers and a wrong decision by the committee leadership, the bill was determined behind the scenes as "indefinitely stalled." Representative Hupp and others urged us to help resurrect the bill, but there was not time - we have learned that no further action will be taken on any bills that did not pass out of committee before May 12.

It often takes more than one legislative session to gather the support and momentum needed to pass a new bill. We are already working on plans to reintroduce this important child welfare legislation in the next legislative session and will let you know how you can help get it passed at that time.

Thank you for all of your efforts on behalf of H.B. 1752 this year.

 Other Resources

6/10/2003 - Texas--Legislature Now Closed for 2003

6/6/2003 - Texas--Surprise Victory; Social Worker Training Becomes Mandatory

5/15/2003 - No more calls needed for H.B. 1752.

5/13/2003 - Texas--Child Welfare Reform Bill Stalled, Your Calls Needed

4/23/2003 - Texas--CPS Reform Bill in Danger, Need Calls Immediately

4/2/2003 - Texas--Hearing Tomorrow on Child Protective Services Reform Bill

Bill Text

Texas State Legislature