Since 2009, at least 50 Texas Child Protective Services caseworkers have been caught placing children at risk by lying to prosecutors, ignoring court orders, falsifying state records or obstructing law enforcement investigations, says the Austin American-Statesman. At least four former CPS employees currently face criminal charges for their alleged misconduct. State officials insist those cases are rare. The employees accused of misconduct represent a fraction of the 3,400 investigators and foster care workers in the agency. But the agency cannot definitively say how often it happens since it does not comprehensively track the number of people who were fired for such offenses.
It also doesn’t count the number of CPS employees who were punished, but not fired, for such misconduct, because that information is stored only in employees’ personnel files, an agency spokesman said. Through a series of open records requests, the American-Statesman identified numerous employees accused of wrongdoing by CPS or the state Health and Human Services Commission’s inspector general who were referred to local law enforcement agencies. The majority of those referrals were for lying on government documents to cover up sloppy casework, with caseworkers often saying they had visited children they had not. In other cases, employees failed to cooperate with law enforcement, lied on their travel reimbursement forms or refused to comply with a judge’s orders.