Bill from Phelan would allow foster placements with family

Rep. Dade Phelan

On the first day of early filing of the 85th Legislative Session, state Rep. Dade Phelan filed his first bill, HB 289, which would provide an additional option for Child Protective Services (CPS) and judges to cut through the red tape of kinship placement in the state of Texas, according to a press release from Phelan’s office.

When a child is removed from a home for abuse or neglect, they typically enter the foster care system. This can occur even when qualified and willing relatives or guardians are available.

HB289 would allow CPS to petition a judge for immediate placement with a family member or caregiver through a protective order. The order would provide custodial authority for the guardian while giving the court the opportunity to provide reformative work plans for the offending parent(s) and visitation rights. The order can last up to two years and can be rescinded at any time. This legislation will reduce caseloads for CPS, district courts, child advocacy nonprofits and prosecutors while saving millions in taxpayer dollars, Phelan says, adding that the new caregiver will be spared the legal expenses and time associated with removing a loved one from foster care.

“HB289 is another tool in the tool box for CPS and our courts. Not all Texans can be a foster parent but so many are prepared to take care of a family member,” Phelan said. “This new protective order allows for the placement of a child in a safe, loving and comfortable environment while assuring the caregiver has the necessary authority to care for and protect.”