AUSTIN, Texas (AP) A legislative committee looking to improve the state's foster care system is hearing from Texans who told lawmakers of abuse and trauma in the foster homes where they grew up.
Some choked back tears Thursday during emotional testimony before the Texas House Select Committee on Child Protection.
Committee Chairwoman Dawnna Dukes even said what she heard sounded "like prison."
The state's 17,000-child foster system has been under scrutiny since seven children died of abuse or neglect in fiscal year 2013.
This year, only one such youngster has died. But officials are investigating the July 6 drowning in Lake Georgetown of two siblings in foster care, ages 4 and 6.
A recent review found child protective caseworkers only spend 26 percent of their job meeting with youngsters and families.