As Texas Privatizes Child Protective Services, Will the Horror Stories Go Unheard?

The tidal wave of problems that thrust Child Protective Services into newspaper headlines crested with the 2016 death of Grand Prairie 4-year-old Leiliana Wright. Her paternal grandparents, alarmed by their granddaughter’s bruises, had sent photos of the girl’s beaten face to CPS. But the assigned investigator was slow to check on the girl and her younger brother and failed to review their mother’s criminal history, which included a felony conviction and a documented history of child abuse. The investigator was juggling seventy cases—five times what safety experts recommend. A few months after the grandparents’ complaint, Leiliana was beaten to death by her mother’s boyfriend. She spent most of her final hours bound by electrical wire in a dark closet.


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