Ken Paxton

AG Paxton Defends Texas Legislature’s Foster Care System Reform at the 5th Circuit

Monday, March 12, 2018 – Austin

Attorney General Ken Paxton today filed a brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit defending the Texas foster care system from judicially imposed directives that could harm more children than it would help.

In January, the U.S. District Court in Corpus Christi ruled that two court-appointed special masters must oversee the Texas foster care system for three years. However, after spending two years and 1.4 million taxpayer dollars, the special masters’ plan still failed to improve the operations of the foster care system.

“The directives laid out by the District Court are misguided and dangerous, and would reverse the progress Texas has made since the Legislature enacted changes to the system last year,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Addressing concerns regarding the foster care system should be done by the people’s representatives, not an unelected federal judge and the court’s appointed masters who imposed their own unrealistic vision.”

Among other issues, the special masters’ plan would cap the number of children currently in foster homes and potentially uproot them from their placements. This decision would also overburden case workers with administrative tasks, ultimately distracting them from their primary objective, which is providing necessary care to Texas foster children.

Today’s brief closely follows a recently filed appeal which was reviewed by a three-judge 5th Circuit panel. The 5th Circuit Court then temporarily stayed the ruling so it could hear arguments.

View the brief here:

View the district court ruling here: