This post is to announce the redesign of the Texas DFPS website. Why is this important? Well Texas has written a set of laws that mandate the readability and ease of use for state websites. Because of this the Texas CPS website is probably the most comprehensive and informative in the United States. The whole site has been optimized to function well with smartphones, tablets and PCs. While it is very good, you need to realize there is what I call both the front and back doors.
The front door is what you would expect from just about any state child protection site. It is the public side. Since much of this front end has been redesigned and the new site is just over 12 hours old; I will not even begin to tell you what is here. Explore and have fun.
Main site: http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/
Adding handbooks to the end of the URL gets you through the back door.
This is where I am at home. Not much has changed here other than the addition of a search function at the top of each page. The handbooks include:
- Child Protective Services (CPS)
- Adult Protective Services (APS In-Home program)
- Adult Protective Services Facility (AFC) Investigations
- Statewide Intake Policy (SWI)
- Licensing Policy and Procedures (for child-care operations regulated by the DFPS Licensing Division)
- Guardianship (a program of the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services)
- Minimum Standards Rules (for child-care operations regulated by the DFPS Licensing Division)
You can also access the Title IV-E Handbooks along with a number of other administrative items here. The Subpoena link hints at the possibility of a future Operating Policy Handbook.
Now you say, this is all well and good for Texas but I live in Florida (or any one of the other 49 states.) number one start a letter writing campaign insisting on the same levels of transparency and ease of use for your state. At the federal level we need to insist that states not be allowed Title IV funding unless levels of transparency and accountability are met. If the Ombudsman system is to be used then they must be given the power to hold workers accountable for failing to do their job as it is defined by the state and not some supervisor’s unwritten policy. As a taxpayer we have the full right to know exactly what is or is not part of a state employee’s job. Because when a worker fails to do their job as it is defined they are an insubordinate employee, not much more.
In the meantime, use the Texas site.
- Look up your situation as if you were dealing with it in Texas.
- Learn the terminology.
- Now Google those terms along with your state and I believe you will find there is a very good chance the information you are looking for is out there.
I would like to thank Yvonne for the invitation to administer of this site. It is quite an honor. While many of you may have noticed I have begun adding links to state manuals, handbooks and policy guides. I apologize that many are hard to use, but those states do not use the same standards as Texas. I am going alphabetically through the state list. So I am about half way. Next I will be trying to clean up the Parents Guides. You will find I am about finding and presenting information.
Who am I? Not much of anybody. My name is Jim Black. I am a former Manufacturing Engineer with absolutely zero background in social work before CPS attacked our family. Over the course of my career I had the opportunity to study many corporate companies. My job was to study the manufacturing records and data so that it could be integrated into the parent company’s manufacturing system. This often put me to managing 10s of thousands of documents and 100s of thousands lines of data and like an archaeologist rebuilds ancient civilizations I rebuilt the companies. When I was asked to review the “Discovery” on my daughter’s cases, I began applying those skills to define how Texas DFPS misuses the system. Thus “Angel Eyes over Texas” was born.
On my Angel Eyes over Texas (www.aeovrt.org) blog page I track all changes to the CPS Handbook along with many of the other Texas Handbooks. I have a Facebook fan page along with a closed group where we assist Texas families with understanding and navigating the treacherous waters of a Texas CPS case. Depending on type and/or location, CPS cases are heard in three different types of courts: Family, Juvenile and Urban Cluster. While I would love to be able to help as many other states as possible, Texas is a full time job. If you Google AEovrT you will find a number of places where we have a presence.