Child Protective Services in Lubbock Faces Dilemma - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/24/03

Child Protective Services in Lubbock Faces Dilemma

Since the state is faced with about a ten billion dollar deficit, state officials mandated a 7% budget cut of all state agencies.

However, Child Protective Services says it can't afford to do that. Because of that, County Commissioners say they are going to do everything in their power to convince state officials to exempt CPS from the dreaded budget cuts.

CPS is already facing one big problem. They're understaffed. "The current case loads the workers carry are already above and beyond the recommended case load they should be handling," said Laura Lynn Wilson, CPS Board Advisor.

That includes investigating tragic child abuse cases and visiting children in foster homes and children's homes. But if the state forces CPS to cut 7% of its budget, Wilson says more staff and even some services will have to be eliminated. "We owe it to the children to be able to provide these services to them. They have done nothing wrong. They've been abused, they've been neglected. They need someone to help them get out of the situation they're in," said Wilson.

So now, CPS is turning to the Lubbock County Commissioners for support. Wilson says commissioners can be a powerful voice for them in Austin asking those state officials to exempCPS from the statewide budget cut.

Every CPS in the state may have been visiting with their counties to support that exception from the 7% reduction. "If they receive enough resolutions from other counties, then this is something they need to look at and consider adding them to the list of exemptions," said Kenny Maines, County Commissioners.

Tarrant County Commissioners were the first to support their fort worth area CPS agency. Right now, the county does give CPS in Lubbock around $125,000 annually. If you are concerned and would like to help, Wilson says you can write to your state representatives Delwin Jones, Carl Isett, or Senator Robert Duncan.

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