Mission and Work
TexProtects is autonomous, nonpartisan and is the only membership-driven agency in Texas to take a comprehensive and in-depth approach to child abuse and prevention and apply it to a statewide advocacy and education effort. Our work encompasses both meeting the immediate needs of at-risk children and their families and communities, as well as developing long term solutions. TexProtects' goal is to create broad-scale, systemic change via major public policy innovations of child protection systems and to leverage private funds with public funds to bring high-impact prevention solutions to scale.
What We Do
To achieve our mission, TexProtects engages in research, advocacy and education. TexProtects advocates for better policies, reforms and appropriate increases in federal, state and local funding for three priority areas:
- Prevention: Increasing investment in proven child abuse prevention programs
- Protection: Strengthening and reforming the CPS system
- Healing: Ensuring victims receive adequate and accessible treatment
Our in-depth, comprehensive research on the child protective services system, risk factors for child maltreatment and adverse outcomes for abused children guides our organization’s legislative agenda each session through best practice and policy recommendations.
Policy and Advocacy
Our research efforts are applied to our statewide advocacy efforts to create systematic changes through public policy innovations in the CPS system and to secure private and public funds for child abuse prevention programs and services for abused children. We lead a collaboration of advocates and experts who develop consensus public policy agendas each session.
Education and Outreach
TexProtects has over 9,500 advocates statewide that we educate on child abuse and neglect prevention, the consequences of maltreatment and how to advocate to their stakeholders. We keep our advocates informed through emails and advocacy alerts to educate them on emerging research and bring attention to issues or legislation affecting the protection of children. We provide presentations, webinars and other educational opportunities to our members at no cost.
Over the last decade, TexProtects has assisted and/or led the passage of over 41 bills that have improved the Child Protective Services system, advocated for and secured $105 million for family support home visitation programs, which have impacted over 11,000 children and families since 2007.
TexProtects developed from the Dallas-based Child Abuse Prevention Advocacy Commission (CAPAC), a group organized in 2000 in response to the critical need for reform and funding for Dallas County’s Child Protective Services (CPS). At the time, Dallas was experiencing the highest turnover rate of caseworkers in the state (46%), resulting in poor outcomes for children, including an increase in child deaths.
Dallas Commission members soon realized that Dallas’ CPS problems were also issues statewide. Simultaneously, Prevent Child Abuse Texas (PCAT), an Austin based 501C-3 statewide-child abuse prevention education organization also identified a need to expand their focus from prevention advocacy to include CPS reform. The Chair of CAPAC, Madeline McClure, also served on the Board of PCAT as Advocacy Chair. With her local and statewide role with CAPAC and PCAT, Madeline decided to lead a focused, statewide membership organization. In April 2004, TexProtects was founded as the Advocacy Division of Prevent Child Abuse Texas.
TexProtects was created to tackle issues of CPS reform, prevention and public awareness to bring a collective, organized voice representing the needs of children at risk of abuse and survivors of child abuse and neglect. The organization is autonomous, nonpartisan and apolitical, designed to educate decision makers, private funders and the public at large. To date, no one single Texas organization has dedicated its focus on the main issues of protection, prevention, and healing of abused and neglected children. Most importantly, TexProtects has identified and activated the most powerful and effective constituency to advocate for change in these issues whom had been missing from advocacy action: survivors of child abuse and neglect.