HHSC Prepares for Statewide Investigation - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/2/04

HHSC Prepares for Statewide Investigation

State officials admit even before now, there has been a high level of concern over whether or not the Texas Department of Family Protective services has been running as it is expected to. Now, a grand jury indictment alleges inactivity on the part of CPS led to the sexual and physical abuse of three young girls in Hidalgo County.

After that indictment, Governor Perry ordered a statewide investigation into the agency. The Health and Human Services Commission will start by listening to complaints and looking at child abuse investigations procedures. They'll also make decisions on whether or not to remove children from their homes.

In the meantime, Texas Comptroller, Karol Keeton Strayhorn says action should have been taken months ago after her staff's investigation into the system. "Changes to this broken system could and should have been made with legislative direction, but that has not occurred. Texans care and Texans dare and that's why I've instructed my staff to develop legislation for the 79th legislature to act on." 

Albert Hawkins, of the Texas health and Human Services Commission, says, "It's a policy concern on the part of the Governor, that we may not have in place a reliable system that meets the needs of vulnerable children and he wants us to make sure we make improvements to the system as needed to meet that goal." 

NewsChannel 11 spoke with Holli Campidilli from our local Child Protective Services. She says they have nothing to hide. They actually welcome the investigation because there is always room for improvement.

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