Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 4 yesterday, authored by Lillian Smith Board member and State Rep. Cindy Burkett (R-Sunnyvale, second from left), which emphasizes keeping families together while ensuring that children are safe.
“This bill strengthens the support the state provides to Kinship Care families by making available a monthly stipend,” posted Rep. Burkett on her Facebook page. “Research clearly indicates that kinship placements provide the best outcomes for children and provide added stability and permanency in their lives.”
Gov. Abbott also signed House Bill 5 and Senate Bill 11, of which Rep. Burkett said she was proud to be a joint-author/sponsor for both bills.
Under HB 5, the Texas Department of Family & Protective Services will now be a stand alone agency, separate and apart from the structure of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
“SB 11 expands and implements community-based foster care, which has proven to be an effective way to utilize a geographic focus for placing children in a foster home,” she added. “It also allows the governor to establish a grant program to support faith-based community programs to collaborate with the Department of Family & Protective Services and improve foster care placements.”