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Abbott signs bills aimed at addressing crisis in child welfare system

Gov. Greg Abbott signed four child welfare bills into law on Wednesday, measures that aim to recalibrate how the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services works with endangered children across the state. 

The bill signing comes just two days after the end of a legislative session that began in January amid headlines describing a state child welfare system stretched thin, with children sleeping in state offices and, in some cases, dying on the state's watch. Since October, Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus have pressured both the department and legislators to make long-awaited changes to how the state helps children recover from abuse and find better living situations. 

Abbott said during the 20-minute ceremony that legislators came in knowing the state needed "a true reform from top to bottom" and made that happen. 


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