Abused Children

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AUSTIN (AP) - Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst is calling on the Senate Health and Human Services Committee to meet within ten days to examine Child Protective Services in preparation for the 2005 legislative session.

Dewhurst, speaking Thursday in Austin at a conference on families, said the state's system to protect abused and neglected children has failed too many times.

The Dallas Morning News reports that a preliminary report on problems within the state's Child Protective Services agency finds investigators are putting children at risk by ignoring agency procedures, taking too long for visits to suspected abuse victims and closing cases prematurely.

Governor Rick Perry in July ordered an investigation into C-P-S. Dewhurst says the Senate committee's work will complement the review sought by Perry.

Among the issues Dewhurst wants the Senate committee to study are:
-- whether law enforcement officials should be called in certain instances to investigate child abuse
-- how C-P-S caseworkers can be better trained
-- and whether the state is investigating the right cases and identifying abuse.