AUSTIN, Texas – When Texas Gov. Greg Abbott launched an investigation into the abuse of the parents of some transgender children, child welfare supervisor Randa Mulanax said what happened next deviated from normal protocols.
There was an unusual secret, with discouraged texts and emails. Accusations about trans children have been given high status. In Texas, less than three in 10 child welfare investigations end with findings that damage was likely to occur, classified as “reason to believe,” but the changes seemed to Mulanax that these cases would be predetermined from the start.
“I understood they wanted a reason to believe,” Mulanax told The Associated Press in his first interview since leaving the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, where he worked for six years until he left last month. “That’s why we had to look for a way to staff it and see how we do it, because it doesn’t match our policy at the moment.”
As early as Friday, the Texas Supreme Court could decide whether the state can resume at least nine investigations into the parents of transgender children. They are the first to fall on the radar of child welfare authorities since the Texas Republican governor in February ordered the state to begin handling care reports confirming child sex as child abuse, the first such order issued in the United States. United.
The legal battle in Texas comes as Republicans across the country lean toward policies aimed at transgender Americans, most notably through the ban on transgender athletes on girls ’sports teams. But Texas is the only state in which a Republican governor has given the green light to cases of abuse against parents of transgender children, which several current workers who have left the Texas child care service say are in a hurry to take action and that he has already sunk morale in his convulsive state agency.
It is unclear how many child welfare researchers in Texas, in charge of complying with Abbott’s directive, have resigned in protest. Mulanax is one of at least two statewide child protection services workers to leave and added their names this week to a court order urging Texas judges to keep investigations on the sidelines. Five other investigators who remain in the agency have also signed.
Abbott’s instructions to Texas child welfare officials are aimed at treatments for children that include puberty blockers and hormone therapy.
Patrick Crimmins, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Family and Welfare Services, declined to comment Thursday, citing the lawsuit.
“We’re being so closely monitored in such cases that I wouldn’t be able to simply say,‘ Oh, nothing to see, ’” said Shelby McCowen, a child welfare researcher who called the directive the “last drop”. and resigns after less than a year in the agency.
Texas completed more than 157,000 child welfare investigations in the last fiscal year, according to state data. McCowen said cases involving parents of transgender families drew the same attention as investigations into child deaths and, like Mulanax, said instructions were given not to discuss cases via emails or state phones, only on devices. personal or face to face.
According to McCowen, cases should be called “special assignments” instead of using a case name or number. She said senior managers told investigators that a survey would be sent in-house to resolve questions about the directive, but none came up.
“I don’t know how many times they get into cases, but they tell us that if we get one of these cases, the documentation has to be almost instantaneous because it’s being monitored,” he said.
Abbott’s directive goes against the country’s largest medical groups, including the American Medical Association, which opposed Republican-backed restrictions in states across the country. On Thursday, President Joe Biden commemorated Transgender Visibility Day by denouncing such legislation, saying that “the attack on state anti-transgender laws that attack you and your families is simply wrong.”
Pressing for further investigation in Texas, Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office wrote that “if the DFPS cannot investigate possible child abuse, children may be harmed, perhaps irreversibly, while so much. “
Mulanax said that if investigations were resumed, he considered it unlikely that any children would be removed from their homes in Texas’ largest cities, which are controlled by Democrats and where some county officials have already said they would dismiss such cases.
But if damage is detected, Mulanax said, it doesn’t make sense for her to implement what other security plans are usually. She said those options usually include parental supervision or services required as therapy, which Mulanax said some of the families may already be doing.
“It was just a complete betrayal of the department,” he said.
The Texas order on trans children was treated differently
Source link The Texas order on trans children was treated differently