Distraught over orders to investigate trans kids’ families, Texas child welfare workers are resigning

Morgan Davis, a transgender man, joined Texas’ child welfare agency as an investigator to be the advocate he never had growing up. Less than a year later, one of the first cases under Gov. Greg Abbott’s order to investigate parents of transgender children landed on his desk.

His supervisors in the Travis County office of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services offered to reassign the case, but maybe, he thought, he was the right person for the job.

“If somebody was going to do it, I’m glad it was me,” Davis said.

He hoped it would be reassuring to the family to see a transgender man at the helm of the investigation. But the family’s lawyer didn’t see it that way.

“She said, ‘I know your intentions are good. But by walking in that door, as a representative for the state, you are saying in a sense that you condone this, that you agree with it,’” Davis said.

“It hit me like a thunderbolt. It’s true,” he said. “By me being there, for even a split second, a child could think they’ve done something wrong.”

Davis resigned shortly after. Since the directive went into effect, each member of his four-person unit has put in their notice as well.

While the attorney general’s office has gone to great lengths to defend the governor’s directive in court, the agency responsible for carrying out the investigations has been roiled by resistance and resignations as employees struggle with ethical questions they’ve never faced before.

More than half a dozen child abuse investigators told The Texas Tribune that they either have resigned or are actively job hunting as a result of the directive.

Read Full article on The Texas Tribune: Distraught over orders to investigate trans kids’ families, Texas child welfare workers are resigning

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Do you work with or for Texas Child Protective Services? We’d like to talk to you. The Texas Tribune is pursuing a number of stories involving the state’s child protective services agency, and we’d like to speak with as many staffers as possible. You can contact reporter Reese Oxner at roxner@texastribune.org or Eleanor Klibanoff at eleanor.klibanoff@texastribune.org. You can also leak us a tip by contacting us over Signal at 512-745-2713.

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