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Rep.Lopez, Ray

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Representative Ray Lopez Files Slate of Bills for Fostering Informed Care 
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by: Rep. Lopez, Ray
12/01/2020

Representative Ray Lopez (Bexar County) has introduced a comprehensive bill package, also known as the Slate for Fostering Informed Care, which seeks to infuse evidence-based Trauma Informed Care training throughout processes of the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) with a mission for children to experience far better improvements in Texas' foster care. As documented by the landmark Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study, exposure to abuse, neglect, discrimination, violence, and other adverse experiences increase a person’s lifelong potential for serious health problems.

"I have seen firsthand how the ACE study has been implemented in Bexar County with great results. Health care professionals and providers have recognized that exposure to traumatic events as children, heightens patients’ health risks throughout their life. My time on the Juvenile Justice & Family Issues Committee has taught me that the child welfare system in Texas needs to become more trauma informed. Perhaps no other child-serving system in Texas, besides our schools - who have also implemented levels of Trauma Informed Care - encounter a higher percentage of families with trauma histories than Child Protection Agencies." said Representative Lopez.

As part of the Slate For Fostering Informed Care, HB 564, HB 565 and HB 566 will all focus on Trauma Informed Care in the courtroom by requiring judges, attorneys, and attorneys ad litem who handle CPS cases to receive Trauma Informed Care training as part of their continuing education. Youth in foster care have particularly high rates of trauma exposure and are significantly more likely than the general population to have directly experienced violence, specifically abuse and/or neglect. 

Representative Lopez added, "To adequately provide trauma-informed care to families involved with child welfare, professionals working within the system must assimilate the impact of trauma on a child's development and learn how to effectively minimize its effects without causing additional distress. We need to provide an environment of connection, safety, and trust with others for our suffering kids.”

The Slate for Fostering Informed Care ensures that more children receive trauma screening, assessment, and evidence-based treatment that will lead to improved outcomes such as, fewer foster home placements, disruptions, and re-entries by improving child functioning and increased well-being.

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