May 14, 2019
THE REASON FOR THE SEASON
By Texas State Representative Ryan Guillen
As we pray and reflect on Christ's message during this very special time of year, remembering to open our hearts and sometimes, even our homes to those who have neither is a chance to live out that mission that started all those years ago.
Sweater Weather is Better Together
For a child in foster care, a gift of a permanent home and family is one that goes well beyond Christmas Day. With roughly 28,000 children currently living in the foster care system in Texas on any given day, and with tens of thousands of children believed to still be living without a home, the ever increasing challenge that we face in finding them a home remains a constant struggle.
The Spirit of Giving
The good news is that, through a number of key investments that we recently made, state funding for foster care services is heading in the right direction. In 2017, after a shocking report of inadequate child welfare, we secured $500 million to reform and overhaul the state foster care system, hire additional staff, and to increase pay for caseworkers, foster care families and providers. And this year, we secured an additional $67 million to place roughly 4800 more kids in foster homes. Additionally, we created initiatives such as the In-State Adoption Services Grant Program, which provide funding for adoption services.
Home for the Holidays
Just in time for the holidays, Texas has recently seen increased adoption rates that have broken decades-old records. But with thousands of children still needing to be placed, there's still much work to do to ensure all Texas children live in safe and loving homes. For more information on how to become a foster parent or to adopt a child, visit: https://www.dfps.state.tx.us/application/tare/search.aspx/children.
Serving ten rural South Texas counties, State Representative Ryan Guillen represents House District 31 in the Texas Legislature. You can follow him at www.ryanguillen.com, @ryanguillen on Twitter, or at @representative.guillen on Facebook.