Agency Overview

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) provides protective services, regulates child care, and works to prevent abuse and neglect. We do this through five major programs:

  • Statewide Intake
  • Adult Protective Services
  • Child Care Licensing
  • Child Protective Services
  • Prevention and Early Intervention

DFPS is a unified part of the Texas Health and Human Services (HHS) System and the HHS executive commissioner appoints the commissioner of DFPS. The DFPS commissioner oversees 11,922 employees in 274 local offices located in 11 regions and a state headquarters in Austin.

DFPS experienced a major change in leadership during FY 2016. This included the appointment of Henry "Hank" Whitman Jr. as the commissioner of the department. Commissioner Whitman promptly detailed a ten-point plan for improving CPS, built around four major themes:

  • Accountability
  • Building investigation expertise
  • Improving foster care
  • Preventing child abuse

Some early results from this plan included hiring new CPS leadership in most regions of Texas and arranging for advanced training in forensics and interviewing techniques for CPS special investigators, so they can train other investigators.

Unrelated to the ten-point plan, DFPS also gained new associate commissioners (formerly assistant commissioners) to oversee three of its five major programs: Child Protective Services, Child Care Licensing, and Prevention and Early Intervention.