Texas lawmakers order immediate child caseworker visits

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Some Texas lawmakers say Child Protective Services caseworkers or law enforcement officers must immediately visit thousands of youngsters reported as abused or neglected.

Members of the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday ordered Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner Hank Whitman to provide a revised plan for face-to-face visits and more hires.

Chairwoman Jane Nelson of Flower Mound says Whitman's deadline was the close of business Thursday.

Whitman last week announced he wants to hire more than 800 investigators, caseworkers and staffers at a cost of $53 million.

Records show as of Oct. 17, more than 15,000 children had not seen by CPS investigators, as required, between 24 and 72 hours after an abuse report. More than 2,800 at-risk children have not yet been seen by CPS staff.