Hundreds voice concerns about CPS at Capitol - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Hundreds voice concerns about CPS at Capitol

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Hundreds showed up at the Capitol to voice concerns about Child Protective Services.

The Sunset Advisory Commission released a detailed report in May that highlighted several on-going issues within CPS. The report made 160 recommendations to fix issues at CPS. Some of the major issues they found were a lack of training, high caseworker turnover and overwhelming caseloads. Wednesday the commission held a public hearing to get feedback about the issue.

The report found that the statewide average turnover for CPS investigations is about 32 percent. In Austin that number is about 40 percent.

The state Department of Family and Protective Services that includes CPS said they agree with all the recommendations.

During a public hearing Wednesday, hundreds of people at the Capitol told horror stories about their experience with CPS.

"I wanted to be able to help other families that have been hurt by the system that's supposed to be protecting our children," said Angel Cook, who said her seven children were taken by CPS after her adopted son died from the abuse of his biological parents.

Angel said now she has her children back, but if it wasn't for her CPS caseworker they never would have been taken to begin with.

"I think CPS does a good job in certain situations, but in mine they failed not only my seven children, but my deceased son too," said Angel.

Angel's 11-year-old son, Bryan Cook, said his CPS caseworker refused to remove him from foster care even after he told him about the abuse he suffered there.

"I told him that they're kicking us, and they're hitting us, and they're abusing us, and they're locking us in rooms," said Bryan.

Bryan said he wants to make sure other children don't have to suffer the way he did.

"I came here today to help other kids in foster care not to get abused," said Bryan.

The commission is expected to make a decision in August. Some of the changes could include additional hands-on field training, a mentoring program and a yearly performance evaluation.

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