Profiles in Prevention: State Senator Charles Schwertner
Senator Schwertner's work to reform Child Protective Services led the Child Protection Roundtable to present him with its Children's Champion Award in 2016. TexProtects CEO Madeline McClure presented him with the award.
Chair, Senate Health & Human Services Committee
Why is this issue important to you?
I strongly believe that the care, protection and safety of children in the care of the state is the most important role of the Texas Legislature. Every child should be afforded every opportunity to have a bright future in a safe and loving home.
What prompted you to get involved?
When I first got appointed to the Sunset Commission, I took many meetings with constituents on the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). Hearing how their stories of first-hand experiences with DFPS and the foster care system inspired me to improve the system for parents and children who have been affected by abuse and neglect, and ultimately to prevent future children from suffering abuse.
How does your role as a Texas Legislator impact Child Abuse Prevention?
As a Texas State Senator, I have the privilege of working with elected officials, stakeholders, and advocates who diligently work to improve the state's foster care system. I believe it should be a priority for the Texas Legislature to direct policy that not only improves the child protective services system, but also prevents abuse and neglect of children, and prevents additional trauma once a child must enter this system.
How would you encourage others to make an impact?
Get involved in local community efforts and make your voice heard. Whether it is becoming a foster parent, a CASA volunteer, serving on a Child Welfare Board, or providing respite care for foster parents, there are so many ways to serve children and families.