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House Committee on Juvenile Justice and Family Issues - 84th R.S. (2015)

Committee Members
Harold V. Dutton, Jr., Chair
Debbie Riddle, Vice Chair
Bryan Hughes
Gilbert Peña
Toni Rose
Scott Sanford
James White
Charges
• Study and evaluate the practice of youth being recruited into human trafficking. Specifically, evaluate the scope of the pipeline of potential victims from foster care, including methods and means used to lure youth into trafficking. Evaluate the types of services that are available to support children and youth in the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) who are victims of human trafficking. Make necessary recommendations to assist DFPS in identifying, recovering, serving, or caring for children and youth who are victims of human trafficking prior to placement in foster care. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Human Services)
• Examine data collection and sharing practices between the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), the Texas Juvenile Jusitice Department (TJJD), and local juvenile probation departments regarding youth involved in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Determine any new data that should be collected and make recommendations to improve data-sharing between DFPS, TJJD and local juvenile probation departments that will improve delivery of services and outcomes.
• Examine evidence-based practices around early education and parenting support and education programs. Assess the current capacity of community-based parent support programs, including funding sources, curricula, effectiveness, systems of delivery and cost effectiveness. Monitor the implementation of HB 2630 (84R) and assess the availability of parenting support and education programs and resources around the state.
• Monitor juvenile justice regionalization planning and implementation of SB 1630 (84R). Identify appropriate outcome measures to evaluate success of keeping more youth closer to home. Make recommendations to increase community and regional options and strengthen community services to reduce commitments to the Texas Juvenile Jusitice Department.
• Review juvenile justice penalties and sanctions determined by or disallowed by age of the juvenile. Identify best practices in other states relating to juvenile age. Determine if alternatives or changes, based on age or other factors, are required to address penalties and sanctions in the juvenile age population.
• Examine the Texas Family Code’s treatment of grandparents in the parent-child relationship, including Chapters 32, 34, 153, 161, and 162 and suggest any changes that may be useful to address the growing population of grandparents and the best interests of Texas children and families.
• Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 84th Legislature. In conducting this oversight, the committee should:
a. consider any reforms to state agencies to make them more responsive to Texas taxpayers and citizens;
b. identify issues regarding the agency or its governance that may be appropriate to investigate, improve, remedy, or eliminate;
c. determine whether an agency is operating in a transparent and efficient manner; and
d. identify opportunities to streamline programs and services while maintaining the mission of the agency and its programs.

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