New Commissioner of Department of Family and Protective Services appointed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott this week. The previous commissioner, Henry “Hank” Whitman retired this past June after serving in the post for nearly three and half years.
Texas has had a problem keeping people in this position for more than three or four years due to the high pressure of the job. The new appointment is Jaime Masters of Missouri.
Masters, a marriage and family therapist from Missouri, won the position over several local politicians. Masters has served in two large, urban county government positions in both Kansas and Missouri. She also worked in Kansas’ child-welfare agency.
Masters is supposed to take office on December 2 of this year. And her appointment couldn’t come at a better time. The Department of Family and Protective Services has been under fire lately. District Judge Janis Graham Jack has been threatening the State of Texas with contempt charges due to its lack of compliance with recent orders to fix the problem regarding mistreatment of children in foster care.
There was a large class action filed some time ago to address the issues facing children in Texas’ foster care system. There have been hundreds of allegations of abuse and neglect.
Masters is going to have to answer to Judge Jack sooner rather than later. She’s also going to have to answer two other big problems. First, the privatization of Texas’ foster care program. Second, she’s going to have to answer constituents who are unhappy with the way the Department of Family and Protective Services is spending its funding.
If you have any concerns with the mistreatment of a foster child in Texas, contact our office immediately.