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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
August 23, 2017     Hays Free Press
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August 23, 2017

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Page 2C COMMUNITY Hays Free Prese August 23, 2017 + BOWLES Earlyn Bowles of Buda, Texas, passed away on August 11, 2017, at the age of 91. She was born April 28, 1926, in Locker (San Saba County), Texas, the daughter of Alvin C. Jamar and Lovena Brice Jamar. She grew up in Fort Worth and lived much of her life thereS. Bowles, of Buda, and grandson Larry (Buddy) and in Beaumont and daughter Chelcy Bowles Church Bowles, Jr.; sister Woodville, and the past Peden, of Madison, Wis- Phentrys Wood; brother 14 years in Buda. consin. She is also sur- Lloy Jamar; and son-in- Although Earlyn's vived by a granddaughter, lawWilliam Peden. She career was spent as a Angela Lewis (Austin); was buried beside Newt switchboard operator, greatgrandchildren Jef- and near her grandson in retiring from the State of ferson (Georgetown) and Woodville. Texas, she is best remem- Schyler (Houston); a step- A memorial service bered as a gifted poree- granddaughter Laura will be held on Saturday, lain artist who created Zupko (Martin's Ferry, August 26, at 2:00 p.m. exquisite work until she Ohio) and her husbandat Hays Hills Baptist lost her sight 25 years ago. Jim, and their children, Church, 1401 N. FM 1626, Earlyn endured her blind- James, Courtney, and Joe; Buda, Texas, 78610. Con- ness with dignity and and many, many beloved tributions in her memory grace, and her courage, nieces, nephews, and de- may be made to Hays spirit, and faith inspired voted and loving friends. Hills Baptist Church, or to countless others. She was preceded in a charity of choice. Earlyn is survived by death by her parents;"I once was lost, but her son, Larry Church her husband Marcus now am found; was blind, Bowles and his wife Barby Newton (Newt) Bowles;but now I see." CASA: In need of volunteers Continued from pg. 1C . counties," said Eloise Hudson, Community Relations Coordinator of CASA. "With the popula- tion growth, the number of children coming in to state care because of abuse has also increased." The number of chil- dren also outnumbers the fOster beds, and children are sometimes required to sleep in the offices of CPS work- ers. In one Such case, a teen that was staying at an office There are currently 220 active volunteers, 16 full- time staff members and 3 part-time members working for CASA in the Central Texas Area. in Houston ran away, only to be struck and killed by a Cal'. Children face other risks in the system. including abuse, often at the hands of other foster children. "I've had a couple of times where I shake my head a little bit," said Lisa Metzler, a three year vol- unteer special advocate for CASA. "How does that happen to a kid?" Homelessness and sex trafficking are also major risks for children in the system. According to a recent University of Texas study, of the 79,000 child sex trafficking victims esti- mated to be in the state, a vast majority were either in foster care or had pre- vious contact with CPS. Lawmakers have introduced 88 pieces of legislation to help curb the crisis, though only 21 of these passed. It's lead to over 270 changes in language of Texas stat- utes. Children's rights ad- vocates initiated these changes following a 2011 lawsuit. The suit alleged that the Texas foster care system had violated the constitutional rights of the children within their care by moving them repeatedly and keeping them in unsafe care. In December 2015, U.S. District Judge Janis Graham ruled that the Texas Department of Family Protective Services (TDFPS) was "broken" in a 255-page ruling and demanded an overhaul of the system. The DFPS released data It's in October 2016 show- ing that on any given day in Texas, CPS workers were failing to check on nearly 1,000 of the state's highest priority kids who face immediate threats of sexual of physi- cal abuse. The agency claims they have since brought that number down to 450. How- ever, data also showed that an additional 1,800 children were being checked on but not within the required 24-hour time frame required by law. It is estimat- ed that nearly one-third of investigative workers leave each year due to the gratu, itous nature of their work, leading to the delays in investigations. "To see that on a day- to-day basis, I can see how people burn out," said Metzler Two court appointed special masters issued recommendations to fix the problems, though the state of Texas objected to all recommendations. However, the court rebuked the state's objec- tions and Texas was or- dered to implement their recommendations. These recommenda- tions included a pay, increase to current work- ers and the employment of over 800 more to help curb the gap between the number of children in the system and the workers available. On May 31, Governor Greg Abbott signed four bills into law aimed to increase the effective- ness of DFPS services and accountability; these bills will go into effect Septem- ber 1. House Bill 5 makes the DPFS a stand-alone agen- cy apart from the Health and Human Services Commission in order for the DFPS to make deci- s!on and put them into action more quickly. While it remains to be seen if these bills will indeed help ease the burden upon DFPS, there are still opportunities for people to help the current k GARDEN C}!NT ;R J ]~, "~Z:~6 Manchaca R~,,Austtn, TX 787~"~" ~~ !,;ii: