Major changes are coming to the Texas child welfare system. This paper will examine how efficiency audits can be used to assess the effectiveness of child welfare services, improve outcomes for children, and save taxpayer dollars.

Key points:

  • Despite a 70% increase in child welfare spending over the last decade, significant issues continue to plague the Texas foster care system, placing children at an unreasonable risk of harm.
  • The 87th Legislature faces critical decisions related to a federal lawsuit over the Texas foster care system, the ongoing rollout of community-based care, and upcoming federally mandated changes to child welfare funding.
  • A regular efficiency audit of the Department of Family and Protective Services can aid in achieving system-wide transformation and improving outcomes for children while saving taxpayer dollars.
  • A recent efficiency audit of the Oregon foster care system is helping the state successfully navigate its child welfare crisis.