The man Gov. Greg Abbott has put in charge of fixing Texas’ dysfunctional foster care system told state legislators on Wednesday he’d gladly take the brunt of their anger if it meant they’d give him more money to catch up on a backlog of 2,844 at-risk children awaiting the agency’s assistance.
“You can beat on me all day, I’m a tough guy, beat on me, I don’t care,” Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner Hank Whitman told the Senate Finance Committee. “But I’m telling you right now, we need help, and it’s in a monetary way.”
Beat on him lawmakers did at a hearing convened just days after Whitman revealed his $53.3 million proposal to overhaul Child Protective Services, a feat that may require an army of 550 new caseworkers and investigators to help save abused and neglected Texas children.