Texas, We Have a Problem

The editorial board of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram ran a blistering commentary on Tuesday (Feb. 21) about the state’s damaged Child Protective Services (CPS) agency and the rise of child sex trafficking.

“The child welfare system is in desperate need of reform,” the board wrote, paired with this tragic statement: “No child should ever be in the position that a pimp is the most appealing option for housing and food.”

For this reason ParentalRights.org is proud to be working with other organizations in a national coalition to promote reform at the federal level. We believe we can help sort out problems at the state level by improving the rules imposed on the states to receive federal funds.

Meanwhile, there are two Texas bills (unrelated to CPS) that we can get behind.

Both bills deal with “conservatorship,” the term used in Texas law to refer to the legal rights and responsibilities involved in the parent-child relationship. “Conservatorship” in Texas is synonymous with “custody” in most other states.

  • SB816 incorporates a presumption that a parent is a fit parent (unless clear evidence shows otherwise) into the “best interest of the child” standard when it is applied to original conservatorship decisions (not just the modifications). Such decisions would include separation or divorce situations as well as CPS investigations.
  • SB815 incorporates the legal presumption that appointing parents rather than CPS or another adult as their child’s conservator is in their child’s best interest. Similar presumptions already exist in many parts of Texas law, but it has not been specified in instances when a conservator (custody) arrangement is up for modification.

By monitoring and supporting bills like these and working to change federal and state laws, we can protect children by empowering parents. But we can’t do it alone! It’s your continued support that enables us to stand up for this vital cause. Thank you for your partnership in protecting children.


Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research