Citing ‘unacceptable’ conditions, state puts placement hold on The Children’s Shelter in San Antonio

Children must be moved by 5 p.m. April 26, state says

SAN ANTONIO – The Children’s Shelter in San Antonio has until 5 p.m. Monday to find new homes for its children after the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services issued a placement hold due to “unacceptable” conditions and an ongoing capacity problem.

On Thursday, the department sent a letter to The Children’s Shelter Executive Officer Annette Rodriguez about Family Tapestry, a foster care group formed by The Children’s Shelter in 2018. Family Tapestry recently rejected the referral of six children into its care and has also failed to find a place for three children who were staying in the DFPS office, according to the letter.

“I understand the issues regarding the placement of children, but that is not the only problem. I have been receiving continuous updates about the current status of the Children’s Shelter,” wrote Jaime Masters, Commissioner of the Texas DFPS. “The situation is unacceptable and threatens the safety of the children. There is no other way to put it.”

In a statement released Monday, Rodriguez said that Family Tapestry has already placed more than half of the children in shelters and foster homes over the weekend, while the rest will be placed by 5 p.m.

Rodriguez said Family Tapestry lost 475 treatment center beds over the past year, making it difficult to take in children who need help. The issue is not local to San Antonio, but a growing problem across the state.

“To provide a scale of the capacity crisis in our state, Texas has lost more than 1,000 residential treatment center beds for higher acuity youth in the past 12 months, of which 475 were lost under the Family Tapestry network,” Rodriguez wrote in her statement.

The main issue has been with the Cottage, the children’s shelter emergency shelter.

“We will continue to live our mission through our family of services and work diligently to determine the best way to serve them,” Rodriguez added.

The Texas DFPS letter referenced ongoing issues with Family Tapestry over at least the last nine months.

“To be clear, if conditions do not improve quickly, DFPS will terminate the contract (with Family Tapestry),” Masters said.

Masters asked shelter officials for a written plan by 5 p.m. Monday that will address Family Tapestry’s inadequacies.

“This plan should, and must, explain how your efforts will bear real, tangible results in 30 days,” Masters wrote.

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