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Advocate Tip:  Placement Changes for Foster Children

On average, a child in CPS care will experience 4-6 placement changes during the course of a year. Some placement changes can be planned in advance, while others occur suddenly. The 83rd Texas Legislature recently enacted changes in an attempt to improve the stability of a child’s placement when placement changes are needed.

Non-Emergency Placements

Beginning September 1, 2013, Senate Bill 425 requires that CPS caseworkers consult with CASA Advocates prior to any non-emergency* placement changes. This means that caseworkers should talk with CASA Advocates about the need for a placement change and get the Advocate’s input as to the most appropriate placement for a child. Although CPS caseworker are now required to consult with CASA Advocates about placement changes, CPS still has the final decision on where the child will be placed. With this new Senate Bill in place, CASA Advocates can have an even greater impact on helping children in CPS care find a safe and stable placement.

Emergency Placements

Keep in mind that placement change consultations are only required when a child’s placement change is planned. If an emergency situation arises and a child is in need of an emergency placement**, CPS is only required to notify the CASA Advocate of the placement change within three working days.

In the event that a child does experience an emergency placement change, CASA Advocates can still help provide that child with some stability. One of the ways Advocates can do this is by visiting the child as soon as possible after an emergency placement.  Doing so provides the child with some reassurance that someone that they know and are familiar with will still be a part of their lives. Advocates can also help provide stability by making sure that a child’s possessions move with the child. Advocates can also assist in making sure that a child’s education records are properly transferred, and that any medical information or medications are transferred as well. 

*A placement change is considered a non-emergency placement when more than 24 hours notice of the need to move the child is given to CPS.

**A placement change is considered an emergency placement when CPS is notified that a child must be moved within 24 hours or less.


1. True or False. CPS must consult with the CASA advocate prior to any placement change.

2. What is the difference between an emergency placement and a non-emergency placement?

3. In what ways can a CASA Advocate help a child before and after a placement change?


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