FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 05/15/2014
Straus Announces Appointees to the House Select Committee
Straus Announces Appointees to the House Select Committee on Child Protection and the Protect Our Kids Commission
Austin-- Today, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus named nine legislators to the House Select Committee on Child Protection.
The committee is charged with studying the incidence of abuse and neglect fatalities in Texas and making recommendations to protect children.
"The death of even one child due to abuse or neglect is unacceptable," said Speaker Straus. "The Texas House is committed to working with Child Protective Services (CPS) and local communities to prevent senseless tragedies. I am confident that this committee will provide meaningful recommendations to improve outcomes for Texas children.”
Representative Dawnna Dukes (Austin) will chair the committee. Its membership will include Reps. Cindy Burkett (Sunnyvale), Tony Dale (Cedar Park), Jessica Farrar (Houston), James Frank (Wichita Falls), John Frullo (Lubbock), Bobby Guerra (Mission), Toni Rose (Dallas), and J.D. Sheffield (Gatesville).
The select committee will also work in concert with the public members of the Protect our Kids Commission, which the Legislature created in 2013. The commission will study the rate of child abuse and neglect fatalities and recommend strategies to prevent and reduce them.
“Working to safeguard children in Texas has and continues to be my highest priority in the Legislature," said Rep. Dukes. "I firmly believe that the creation of the Protect Our Kids Commission and the House Select Committee on Child Protection sends a strong signal of our commitment to addressing this critical issue.”
Nancy Kellogg, MD, F. Scott McCown and Julie Evans are Speaker Straus' public appointees to the Protect Our Kids Commission.
Dr. Kellogg, of San Antonio, completed her medical school training and pediatric residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCA) and currently serves there as Professor and Division Chief of Child Abuse in Pediatrics. Dr. Kellogg has worked full-time in the field of child abuse for over 20 years, evaluating more than 10,000 children for abuse and testifying more than 800 times.
McCown, of Austin, is a clinical Professor and Director of the Children's Rights Clinic. From 1989 to 2002, he served as a State District Judge, hearing a broad range of civil cases and presiding by special assignment over a child protection docket. Judge McCown is the former executive director of the Center for Public Policy Priorities, a member of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and has received numerous awards for his advocacy on behalf of children.
Evans, of Fort Worth, is the CEO of the Alliance for Children, one of the first child advocacy centers established in Texas. She holds a BA in Psychology from East Texas Baptist University and has six years’ experience as an investigator for Child Protective Services.
Contact: Erin Daly or Jason Embry, 512-463-0223