AUSTIN, TX—The Texas House on Thursday unanimously approved a bill to extend a critical program that places foster children in permanent homes with verified relatives and provides assistance payments to these relatives.
HB 511, authored by Representative Sarah Davis, would eliminate the upcoming expiration date for the Permanency Care Assistance program. This program removes children whose parents are deemed unfit for care from state conservatorship and places them in a permanent home with a relative. This legislation will also provide for financial assistance to the caregivers for the child removed from foster care.
The bill highlights the Texas House’s commitment to improving care and protection for the state’s most vulnerable children. This item was voted on as an emergency item for the 85th legislative session, as prioritized by Governor Greg Abbott.
Representative Davis remarked, “…since 2009, the Permanency Care Assistance Program has successfully placed over 3,500 children in forever homes with verified relatives and family members. Without action by the Texas House, the state’s most vulnerable foster children would have lost this vital alternative to spending their entire childhood in foster care custody. This bill will result in savings of over $3.2 million to the state in the next two years alone. Extending the Permanency Care Assistance program is the right thing to do for Texas foster children, families, and taxpayers.”