20 ways of looking at CPS


.     1
for the record: Belle’s author was never wild about this notion that Texas would follow up Judge John Specia with the former head of the Texas Rangers as the Commissioner for DFPS. she wasn’t gaga for someone who’d spent the last quarter century dealing with perpetrators to be in charge of the displaced and discarded. call it a hunch. but she put away her penalty flags and gave Commissioner Hank “Boys Do CryWhitman a chance–there’d be plenty of time to call foul if things didn’t work out. as it happens, it might be a better idea for law enforcement to assist CPS rather than lead it.


.     2
Sen Fi began on Wednesday afternoon with the understanding they would be discussing the reasons CPS wanted 550 new full time caseworkers as well as another 250 other new FTEs and whether that was the best strategy for addressing unforgivable failures of the agency.

Sen. Nelson said she hadn’t known a time when the agency wasn’t “in crisis” in her 24 years in the Senate.

Sen. Uresti suggested certain senators quit thinking about ways to tell their constituents they’d cut taxes and imagine being spirited away from their parents at 3 am to sleep on a couch in some stressed out social worker’s office forever. also, let’s give those people a living wage.

Sen. Whitmire sang, “You think you’ve seen it all in 44 years / and then this bullshit comes along / and that just tears it / please explain all your WRONG!”

Sen. West remembers hearing a fat lot of “I believe the children are our future…” forever. beyond that: everyone. forgets. the. lyrics. Sen. West said, “you’re damn right the children are our future.” he would like more action than exposition.  

[Belle senses a theme!]
.                                   decades of discussing what to do about the state’s children have made the senators hoarse. we don’t want to see your gold stars, CPS. because: just showing up gets 0 stars and the kids don’t have a lobbyist. DAMN. SKIPPY.


.     3

budget budget budget… budget budget budget…
budget budget budget… budget budget budget…
all performance data came after Senate Bill 206.

budget budget budget… budget budget budget…
budget budget budget… budget budget budget…
the agency is 423 FTEs below their staffing cap.


.     4
hey, Sen. Watson! what’s that? a little bird told you that a federal court has ruled that CPS has been violating the constitutional rights of minors in their custody? we should focus on the details of Judge Jack’s directive to the special masters who are due to report back to her on November 4 so we’re not just jawing. pffft. have you met these people? Belle sees you have. well, we’ll just have to be disappointed together. but at least you and Sen. Whitmire agree that the federal judge isn’t going to give a fly about the budget cap.

.     5
there once was a doctor named Kyle,
who screwed over the state for a pile.
he let his bud Jack
write contracts of crap.
and this shit will never go to trial.

John Stephen says that Janek’s real swell dude
for signing a $2 million contract with his group.
when asked if his contract
was negotiated with Jack Stick:
why anyone’d care, he hadn’t a clue.


.     6no-photo

why can’t CPS comply with a simple regulations like, say, putting a photo of each child in the CPS system in their files? (please?) Sen. Kolkhorst: maybe they don’t know how cellphones work. I know how cellphones work. maybe I can teach them. oh and 20% of kids in kinship care are not having their basic needs met is not acceptable. (thank you?)


.     7
.          we never desegregated the data on the high needs children.
.                                                                                                                     do we get points for kids who don’t have problems?
.                                                                         can we pretend like that’s an overall improvement?
.                          never mind.
.                                                 we’re just going to pull numbers out of our butts because:
.               homework is so UNFAIR!


.     8
2834how many “priority one” children has the agency not clapped eyes on over the course of 2016? one, two, three, four, five–dis many! because when no one answers the door at their house the agency (allegedly) throws up its hands and gives up. they are here to… help? nah, must have been the write Yelp reviews for doorbells section of the “10 point plan” which includes not asking for assistance from local LEAs if Commissioner Whitman thinks they *might be* washing their hair that day. thanks guys, Sen. Nelson will not be sleeping at all this week. clap your hands if you REALLY BELIEVE! (maybe they’re all be on Sesame Street!)


.     9
Col. McCraw passed a note in class that DPS will help CPS find the kids! because DPS has Whitman’s back. daaaw! isn’t that sweet?!

no. it’s not. 

has this extra capacity been living under a rock in Terlingua? because it seems to run counter to the claim that they need another billion Texeros or so next year for operations which may or may not be legal. and, gee whiz! thanks for making Sen. Watson’s head ‘splode.


.     10
what’s $[54(423 + 800) X .46] thousand? that’s how much we’ll waste if we only hire people. that’s the number of vacancies at CPS today plus the number they want to add times the turnover rate for new hires multiplied by how much it costs to train them. or 30.4 million Texeros Trasheros Sen. Seliger would rather not throw out the window. there’s got to be a better option.


.     11
well-duhSen. Watson: wasn’t there a pilot program where we gave caseworkers a living wage in Midland that produced a significant reduction in turnover?
.                   Sen. West: well, duh!*

Kristene Blackstone: yeah. they reduced the turnover rate from 34% to 21%.
.                   Sen. West: well, duh!*          

Commissioner Whitman: I think that was Judge Specia’s thing.
.                   Sen. West: well, duh!*

*direct quote.


.   12
according to this hearing, Foster Care Redesign is a fucking sham. the pilot program in Ft. Worth to create a new model for foster care for the state has been boasting numbers which don’t account for how they send the most difficult cases to Houston and other areas of Region 6. under this no longer in our district, no longer our problem method Belle assumes that they’ll be building a funnel to Narnia for the high needs youth when the program goes statewide. they’ll be living the high needs life off Turkish Delight!


.     13
Sen. Birdwell
and his military
metaphors are not
one with this discussion.

the baseball similes
are not smiling
in this hearing.


.     14
let’s clear something up about the pay structure: just because a given job is a person’s “calling” doesn’t mean Commissioner Whitman can pay them with Brownie Points. last time Belle checked, “I’m following my calling” is about as acceptable a tender as “exposure bucks”.

which is to say: it’s worthless.
but, hey! $2 thousand a month
probably qualifies you for SNAP!


.     15
next is where the wheels come off this thing.
next is where the chassis shatters into a thousand pieces.
next, we spontaneously combust and shower Crockett, TX in sparks.


.     16
.   in the time before TJJD there was TYC. we closed the facilities. we closed them for good reasonHouston County Judge Lonnie Hunt said, “let this facility be free!” and so the City of Crockett and the County of Houston and Serenity Place appealed to the TX lege to use it as a substance abuse treatment center in 2012 to which the lege said, “we don’t put people seeking help in prison.”
.   second verse, not the same as the first: this year the county tried a new track, coordinating with Cornerstone, they executed an end-run around the TX lege by appealing directly to the General Land Office instead to open it as a foster youth facility which never got off the ground. so the county went back to Serenity Place, which according to their website is not a foster care organization, to run it. and Serenity Place seems to be unaware that TYC no longer exists.
.   after months of operation, someone rang Sen. Whitmire to find out if it was okay for them to put more youth there–it being open being news to all legislators!
.   you might be wondering who runs the GLO? oh, no one you’ve heard of. just some guy named George Prescott Bush.


.   17
we interrupt this story for a public service announcement:

when someone suggests putting foster youth in a detention facility or that foster care should be “run like a business”.


.   18
there have been reports          that there is only 1 supervisor to every 15
.                                                   children / of Chapel Brothel with rites

there have been reports          rooted in rape / a weekend vacation spent
.                                                   relieving an Austin store of its till / of

there have been reports          the local authorities, of Crockett ISD, requests
.                                                   for relief from responsibility / for these youth

there have been. . .                   abuse & neglect. . .     1 facility. . .     37 children. . .
.                                                   in Houston County; in Crockett, TX


.   19
Sen. Schwertner would like to know what the 550 new FTEs will do about all this. they will be replacing investigators who have been acting as caseworkers. who are these investigators? mostly former law enforcement. no wonder they thought a prison was as good a place as any for these kids.


.     20

now let’s all join hands while Sen.

Bettencourt reads us a sermon about

the Select Committee on Rich White

People Tears and how a tax cut, HASHTAG

AggieMath!™ and Atlas Shrugged will fix

our held together by duct tape budget

by prescribing Thoughts&Prayers.


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