AUSTIN (AP) – Gov. Greg Abbott has chosen the former head of the Texas Rangers as the new leader of the state’s embattled child welfare agency, calling the status quo there “unacceptable.”
Abbott tapped Henry “Hank” Whitman as Texas Department of Family and Protective Services commissioner. In a statement Monday, he said “our children are too important to suffer through the challenges they’ve faced.”
Whitman had nearly 35 years of law enforcement experience before retiring from the Rangers in 2012.
Abbott, a former Texas attorney general, also named Kristene Blackstone as assistant commissioner for Child Protective Services. She had been deputy director of the attorney general’s child support division.
A December federal court ruling declared Texas’ 30,000-strong foster care system so flawed that it violates the constitutional rights of youngsters in its care.
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