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Federal judge demands fixes from state foster care agencies

A senior U.S. district judge blasted state agencies{ } during a 2-day virtual hearing (File photo){p}{/p}
A senior U.S. district judge blasted state agencies during a 2-day virtual hearing (File photo)

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Enough is enough: That's one what one federal judge is saying about the state's broken foster care system.

It’s all in connection with a lawsuit over foster care in Texas, something we here at News 4 have been following for you over the past decade.

U.S. District Judge Janis Jack spent most of the hearing taking aim at state agencies on Thursday.

The hearings are taking place on Zoom, and federal courts don’t allow recordings, but you could really sense the judge’s frustration at times when they couldn’t answer the questions she was asking.

One instance in particular, a foster home in Kerrville was closed down a couple years ago after it was reported a couple of foster kids died.

During the hearing on Thursday, state agencies told the judge two kids are staying there now by court order

Jack replied, “Federal court takes precedent over state orders.”

She added, “I will tell you right now that I find those children are in unsafe placements Do something by the end of the day or we will have another contempt hearing.”

Many of you at home are wondering who takes care of the kids and where do they go when something like this happens.

They would normally go to The Children’s Shelter, the organization that runs foster care in Bexar County.

But as the New 4 Trouble Shooters have reported, they’re temporarily closed as the state investigates problems there like lack of supervision, violence, kids harming themselves and even sexual assault.

That includes a facility it runs called the Whataburger Center for Children and Youth, which surrendered its license in January.

The federal court found even after that, kids were still staying there overnight.

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We reached out to The Children’s Shelter for a response to the judge’s comments but as of Thursday evening they have not replied.

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