Senator Jane Nelson
P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
Fax (512) 463-0923

STATEMENT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 2, 2009
Contact: Dave Nelson (512) 463-0112

SENATE APPROVES MEASURES TO SUPPORT FOSTER CHILDREN, FAMILIES

AUSTIN — The Texas Senate today unanimously approved SB 69 by State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, to improve outcomes for abused and neglected children and to provide better support for individuals aging out of the foster system. The measure now moves to the House for further consideration.

"These improvements are seriously needed to help our foster children as they transition into their adult lives. Sadly, many of them are falling into lives of despair and, in many cases, homelessness. We need to better support these children and the families who provide their care," she said, noting that more than a fourth of the homeless population are products of foster care. SB 69, as amended on the Senate floor:

Under the state budget approved by the Texas Senate yesterday, appropriations for DFPS increases by $40 million to hire 84 new caseworkers and improve caseworker salaries. In addition, the Senate improved reimbursement rates for foster care providers by 6 to 9 percent, depending on type of care.

Additionally, the Senate Health & Human Services last week approved SB 493 by Senator Nelson, improving services for children in the CPS system and expanding tuition benefits; and SB 1332 by Senator Nelson, requiring courts to consider previous placements for children re-entering the system.

SENATOR JANE NELSON represents District 12, including portions of Tarrant and Denton Counties. She is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services.

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