NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A Dallas-based organization is headed to Austin hoping to garner state lawmaker support for a measure meant to reduce child abuse and neglect among Texas’ poor.

According to Madeline McClure, the executive director of the Texas Association for the Protection of Children (TexProtects), the state spends more than $2,000,000 every two years on Child Protective Services.

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McClure suggests some of that money be spent proactively. “What we’re asking for is only 1-percent of that funding to go into child abuse prevention programs.”

In another move to prevent child abuse across the state, TexProtects is supporting SB 426 — the Texas Home Visitation Expansion and Accountability Act. “Home visiting programs pair trained professionals, which are often nurses, social workers, or child development specialists, with low-income pregnant moms or new young families and provide services in the home,” McClure explained.

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As it stands, McClure says there are some 476,000 Texas families who qualify for home visiting programs, but state funding supports less than 1-percent of those who need help.

SB 426 has North Texas roots. State Senator Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) authored the bill, along with co-authors Senator Bob Deuell (R-Greenville) and Senator Royce West (D-Dallas), that is meant to be a base for an accountability system that make sure the state places a priority on investing in positive evidence-based programs.

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