Texas just finished hosting this major national work Summit for state leaders in child welfare, and we are feeling very good about the successful conclusion of the event. The proof will be in the pudding of ensuing work (more on this later) that we and 47 other states perform, carrying out plans developed at the Summit to improve judicial leadership and decisions affecting children in foster care, their families, and a universe of stakeholders.
Congratulations to Justice Harriet O'Neill and the Texas Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth & Families, and many thanks to the National Center for State Courts, Casey Family Programs, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the Pew Charitable Trusts, RGK Foundation and a number of other generous sponsors. My personal thanks as well as congratulations go out to Dick Van Duizend, Kay Farley, Lee Suskin, Val Hansford, Myra Miranda and Nora Sydow of NCSC, under the leadership of Mary McQueen; Tina Amberboy, Kristi Taylor, Teri Moran and Bryan Wilson of the Children's Commission; Justice O'Neill and her assisant Sylvia Griego; security detail led by Tawana Henderson of the Department of Public Safety and Terry Cobbs of the Department of Criminal Justice - Office of Inspector General; and the Texas team made up of Judges John Specia, Dean Rucker, Patricia Macias, Darlene Byrne, Robin Sage, Camile DuBose and Karen Bonicoro, Texas Center for the Judiciary staff Anissa Vila and Ginny Woods, Carolyne Rodriguez of Casey, and HHSC/DFPS leadership Anne Heiligenstein, Joyce James, Fairy Rutland and Audrey Deckinga. Finally I wanted to say thanks to Bruce Robison and his band for a great show at the Bob Bullock Museum on Friday night.