Over the last several years, a considerable amount of work has gone into addressing systemic deficiencies that have long plagued the Texas foster care system. This work is bearing fruit, and the 87th Legislature has a unique opportunity to build on the successes already achieved by reform efforts.

Seizing this opportunity will require the Legislature to carefully coordinate the continued expansion and improvement of the community-based care system created by the 85th Legislature with implementation of key reforms made by the federal Family First Prevention Services Act. If done well, Texas can create a more compassionate, responsive child welfare system and become a national model for successful child welfare reform.