A Federal Judge Says Texas’ Conduct In Foster Care Case Has Been ‘Shameful’

Judge Janis Graham Jack had ordered the Department of Family and Protective Services to provide 24-hour supervision of children living in group settings. But she says the agency resisted complying.

By Rhonda FanningNovember 6, 2019 11:53 am,

Four years after a federal judge ruled that Texas had violated the civil rights of children in the foster care system, that same judge is now fining the state $50,000 per day for not following her orders aimed at protecting thousands of abused and neglected children in the system.

On Tuesday, Judge Janis Graham Jack said she “can no longer find [the Department of Family and Protective Services] credible,” calling the department’s conduct “shameful,” and saying it had repeatedly lied to her, including about complying with her order that the agency look after kids overnight when they’re in group settings. The fines start Nov. 8, and will double starting Nov. 15.

Bob Garrett is Austin bureau chief for The Dallas Morning News. He says Jack finds Texas far behind when it comes to proper care for foster children.

“She said even then that for 20 years, there had been blue-ribbon studies saying the foster care system of Texas was a shame; something that had to be fixed and nobody fixed it,” Garrett says. “Four or five years later, she’s even madder about that inaction.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– What Jack ordered DFPS to do back in 2015

– Why 24-hour supervision matters for foster care kids living in group settings

– What happens if DFPS doesn’t comply with Jack’s demand for 24-hour supervision

– Why Texas likely won’t be able to avoid the fines

– How dysfunctional foster care has long-term effects on children


Written by Caroline Covington.