James R. Hine
When James Hine arrived at the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services (PRS) in 1996 as the sixth Executive Director in five years, PRS was attempting to cope with an $80 million projected deficit. Under Mr. Hine's leadership, the agency was able to respond aggressively to new state permanency legislation, to implement a managed care pilot program in the Arlington region, to improve assessment for children via a pilot project in the Houston region, and to implement a flexible response pilot program in the San Antonio region.
Also during this period, PRS completed an analysis of child deaths in Texas and recommended actions to reduce the number of abuse/neglect-related deaths where PRS had prior involvement with the family. Such actions included a new risk assessment tool and the implementation of risk directors in every region. This report has been described as the most in-depth analysis by any State to examine abuse/neglect-related child deaths.
In 1999, State District Judge Scott McCown released A Petition On Behalf Of the Forsaken Children of Texas to the Governor and the 76th Legislature which showed, through a detailed fourteen-year analysis of data, that the agency's ability to respond to child abuse and neglect had deteriorated because its resources could not keep up with the growing problem. Mr. Hine generated a report entitled Strong Families, Safe Children: Investing in Our Future, which offered a course of action for taking on the most immediate needs of abused and neglected children while providing a long-term plan for increased efforts at prevention.
As a result of Mr. Hine's tireless efforts to rebuild relationships with legislators and to advocate a strong course of action to repair the child welfare system, lawmakers added 160 more staffers for the FY 2000-2001 biennium. They also approved $27 million to increase purchased services to clients, $16.9 million for prevention services, $25 million for automation projects, and $4.7 million to increase salaries for CPS caseworkers.
Outcomes for children have improved substantially as a result of Mr. Hine's leadership. Finalized adoptions have increased 175 percent since 1996, and children are spending less time in foster care before they are adopted.
Mr. Hine has brought stability, a strong financial background, and solid management practices to PRS, as well as a passion for providing outstanding services to the vulnerable children of Texas. He has rebuilt the reputation of the Texas child welfare system with other states, legislators, and the general public.