MIDLAND, Texas — One Accord For Kids is an organization in Midland that provides healing, permanency, and stability with the support of their community. Their mission is to transform lives in West Texas by strengthening families and connecting communities.
Brandon Logan is the Executive Director of One Accord For Kids, and he wants changes to take the foster care system in West Texas.
Like most things in West Texas, the foster care system here is big. Logan explains that "our administrative region that serves our foster kids is 30 counties. It's 40,000 square miles. So it stretches from New Mexico to the hill country, all the way down to Rio Grande in that area. There's about 650 children in the substitute care of CPS. So CPS is responsible for 650 children, and about 325 of those are in paid foster care. So they're in foster homes and maybe in residential facilities."
Despite the seemingly huge numbers, the system doesn't have enough services to help these children so far.
"There's about, in the state system, about 25,000 children, so we have a fairly low number, but every child has to be served," Logan explained. "And that's one issue we have out here in West Texas. We don't have enough services. For children that includes mental health providers, and includes physicians mainly includes foster parents, and people who are willing to foster and maybe even adopt children in foster care."
Logan is making a trip to Austin to the state legislature to try and help reform the foster care problem.
"[...] This system has been in trouble for at least 10 years. We had a federal lawsuit. There are a lot of issues that keep coming up with this CPS system. And so there's been efforts to reform this system for about that long. And ultimately those efforts are failing or not making any progress," Logan said. "We think the way to solve the foster care problem in West Texas is to let West Texas take care of this and so I'm going to ask the legislature to give our community the authority to figure out and design our own system and then just give us the dollars that you currently spend in our system and let us make the decisions for our children."
Due to living in the post-Roe world now, Logan thinks there will be increased opportunities to foster and to adopt coming to Texas in the next few years.
"We have to get this right now. Every child in West Texas deserves a chance. And right now, the current system unfortunately isn't giving them the best chance."
Logan will be having a Q&A session on Sept. 13 at Mid-Cities Church in Midland on 191 if you want more information.
Further information will be provided when Logan returns from Austin.