AUSTIN (KXAN) — The state of Texas is facing a huge bill after a judge ruled that it had failed to make improvements to its care of foster children.
Judge Janis Jack fined the state $50,000 each day until the system changes – with the penalty doubling later this month if there is still no improvement.
She ruled the system was broken in 2015 and gave orders, but now says the Department of Family and Protective Services has failed to implement the new rules.
These include around the clock supervision by adults who are awake for foster children in a group setting.
“The reality is the overwhelming majority of our foster parents in our placements are safe for kids,” says Will Francis, Executive Director for the National Association for Social Workers Texas Chapter .
“It’s just do we have some bad actors there that we really need to look at, and do we have the resources to police those bad actors?
“What Judge Jack is ultimately saying is, department, it’s up to you to be the ultimate oversight of who exactly is taking care of these kids.”
The Texas Attorney General’s Office says that DFPS has been working to comply with the new rules.
A spokesman said: “Our children deserve reasonable provisions that make that care more safe and accessible, and we are dedicated to working with all parties toward that goal.”