AUSTIN – “Today I met with faith-based leaders from across the state to identify ways in which the faith-based community can help children who are involved, or at risk of becoming involved, with the child foster care system,” said Dan Patrick. “Faith-based communities have a long history of involvement with these children and we need this partnership to grow dramatically.
“Last session we increased funding for Child Protective Services by $230 million, and resources for prevention and early intervention programs, but we need to do more,” Patrick continued.
“Last year, I announced an interim charge for the Senate Health and Human Services Committee focused on protecting children against abuse and neglect, the medical and health needs of foster children and ways to strengthen adoptions.”
“More than anything else, our state’s foster children need a loving home with loving parents,” said Senator Charles Schwertner, MD (R-Georgetown), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. “By collaborating with our state’s faith-based communities, we hope to better identify and support those families who feel called to serve, and ultimately provide more Texas children with a caring and nurturing environment to call home.”
“It is a joy to be part of Lt. Gov. Patrick’s initial panel on faith-based partnership and collaboration between churches and state agencies regarding foster care and adoption in Texas,” said Dave Welch, President of the Texas Pastor Council. “It is inspiring to have church-friendly agency leadership under Lt. Gov. Patrick, new Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS) Commissioner Hank Whitman, and Senate Committee Chair Charles Schwertner.”
“I’m extremely grateful to the lieutenant governor for his support of this effort,” said Hank Whitman, DFPS Commissioner. “In Texas we are fortunate to already have a solid foundation of faith leaders who recognize that our children are our future. Today is all about expanding our reach and doing it all for the children.”
“As we commemorate National Foster Care month, we must continue to strengthen our efforts to prevent children from entering and staying in our broken foster care system. It’s a serious issue that demands swift action from the Senate and I will continue to fight for our children’s future,” concluded Patrick.