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Neuropathy is experienced by nearly 20 million Americans.

With pain, numbness, and burning - it can be debilitating and life-changing.

Neuropathy Pain Relief in Foster, TX

Neuropathy refers to a condition characterized by damage or dysfunction of the peripheral nerves, which are responsible for transmitting signals between the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) and the rest of the body. Neuropathy is caused by conditions including diabetes, infections, traumatic injuries, autoimmune diseases, and exposure to certain toxins. As a consequence of nerve damage, individuals with neuropathy often experience a range of symptoms such as pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness in the affected areas.

Neuropathy can significantly impact a person's quality of life, affecting mobility and daily activities. Neuropathy is more than painful - it's also stressful, bothersome, and all-encompassing. It causes both men and women to become reclusive, depressed, and unable to enjoy life. If you're suffering from neuropathy, you might feel like all hope is lost. But the team at Texas Nerve and Spine are here to help.

Neuropathy relief in Foster, TX, is more achievable than you might think, and it doesn't need to involve harmful surgeries or addictive pain medications.

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The Texas Nerve and Spine Difference

Difference

At our nerve and spine clinic in Foster, TX, we have a simple philosophy: Treat every patient the same way that you would treat your parent, spouse, or child if they were patients at Texas Nerve and Spine. As a family-owned and operated institution, that's just the way we do business. While some spine and nerve pain clinics focus solely on monetary transactions and ROI, we prefer to put our patients' needs first before anything else. And that, in a nutshell, is what sets Texas Nerve and Spine apart from all the others.

We supplement our patient-first philosophy with innovative neuropathy therapies. Our therapies restore our patients' health while correcting the underlying causes of their nerve issues without relying on damaging pharmaceutical drugs or expensive, invasive surgeries.

It all starts with our unique Brain to Body system - a cutting-edge approach developed specifically for people with chronic pain and nerve diseases. This system helps treat patients suffering from a wide range of conditions, including:

  • Chronic Pain
  • Sports Injuries
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Sciatica
  • Scoliosis
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Diabetic Neuropathy
  • Idiopathic Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Post-Surgical Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Problems with Balance
  • Vertigo
  • Herniated Discs
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Extremity Tingling and Numbness
  • Migraines

If you're in search of lasting relief and world-class therapies for neuropathy, our team is here to serve you.

How the Brain to Body System Provides Neuropathy Relief in Foster, TX

To reverse neuropathy, areas of the body that have become weak due to disease or injury must be restrengthened. This encompasses your brain, nerves, muscles, blood vessels, and cells. Our experts at Texas Nerve and Spine developed the most advanced chronic pain and neuropathy therapy system to do all of this and more, and we call it the Brain to Body System.

From chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy and extremity numbness to diabetic neuropathy and sciatica, our Brain to Body System helps restore your health and corrects the causes of your problems. Unlike treatments from other nerve and spine clinics, our system provides long-term relief without relying on invasive surgeries or dangerously addictive pharmaceutical medications.

To understand how our Brain to Body System solves chronic pain and similar conditions like nerve disease, you need a basic knowledge of the conditions themselves. That way, you can understand why so many who suffer from them rarely improve.

Neuropathy Pain Relief Treatments Foster, TX
Neuropathy Pain Relief Treatments Foster, TX

Neuropathy

Neuropathy is nerve damage that causes pain, numbness, and burning in the extremities. This is a type of condition that does not get better on its own and it doesn't alleviate after the use of traditional medical treatments or prescription pain meds.

Pain from neuropathy causes a domino effect; it starts with inflammation, leading to decreased blood supply. This reduction in blood supply results in a lack of oxygen. When your body doesn't get enough oxygen, it loses crucial nutrients that your body needs. This progressive effect often leads to long-term problems such as:

  • Chronic Pain
  • Motor-Function Loss
  • Loss of Sensation
  • Muscular Atrophy
  • Loss of Movement
  • Depression

But with our Brain to Body Strengthening System, patients suffering from neuropathy build strength through rehabilitation. This advanced system helps:

  • Stimulate New Nerve Pathways
  • Strengthen and Grow Muscles
  • Promote Cellular Repair
  • Improve Circulation and Blood Flow

Our Brain to Body System is central to our approach to neuropathy relief in Foster, TX. By following our system, we can provide several services to patients suffering from neuropathy.

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EWOT: Exercise with Oxygen Therapy

Breathing in higher levels of oxygen helps to improve your health. Exercise with Oxygen Therapy is a technique that increases oxygen circulation at a more rapid pace than oxygen therapy alone.

How Does EWOT Work?

At Texas Nerve and Spine, our doctors use the NuStep Recumbent Cross Trainer. This specialized machine trains your muscles, brain, and nerves to work together, which supports your body's whole healing processes. While using the NuStep Recumbent Cross Trainer, patients are hooked up to an oxygen generator to enjoy the benefits of EWOT and reach their neuropathy relief goals.

When you oxygenate your blood with EWOT, it can have amazing benefits that can:

  • Restore Blood Flow
  • Improve Oxygen Circulation
  • Reduce Inflammation
  • Boost Energy
  • Increase Strength
Neuropathy Pain Relief Treatments Foster, TX
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Flexion/Distraction Therapy

Neuropathy Pain Relief Treatments Foster, TX

Many patients who visit Texas Nerve and Spine are suffering from neuropathy, due to spinal issues. This requires specialized kind of care from highly trained doctors. If you're in search of a safe, gentle, controlled treatment for nerve and spinal pain, Flexion Distraction therapy may be for you.

How Does Flexion/Distraction Therapy Work?

Finding relief for this type of condition and pain is often easier said than done. Fortunately, relief is right around the corner at Texas Nerve and Spine. Our Flexion/Distraction Table stretches the spine safely and gently, allowing injured tissue and damaged discs the chance to heal and become hydrated, which lets the affected area recover more effectively and efficiently, while taking the pressure off the nerves that cause the neuropathy.

Patients looking for neuropathy relief in Foster, TX choose Flexion/Distraction therapy because it:

  • Reduces Spinal Pain
  • Fosters Healing in Damaged Discs
  • Removes Pressure on Spinal Nerves
  • Is Non-Invasive
  • Is Cost-Effective
  • Does Not Require Downtime
  • Has No Risk of Infection
  • Provides Quicker, Easier Healing
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Laser Therapy

With more than 20 million people in the U.S. suffering from neuropathy, it makes sense that most of them want a solution that does not require pain medication or invasive surgery. That's where laser therapy from Texas Nerve and Spine comes into play. Laser therapy has been used for therapeutic purposes in medical environments for years. In fact, it is FDA-approved and backed by more than 2,500 research studies, which have demonstrated its efficacy in neuropathy relief in Foster, TX.

How Does Laser Therapy Work?

Though laser therapy is a common treatment option, not all lasers are the same. Our Class IV laser therapy, used in all applicable programs, is the most efficacious and powerful laser available for tissue healing and regeneration and healing. Class IV lasers use photobiomodulation, which provides excellent results for Musculoskeletal disorders. This process has also been proven to help with other various conditions that cause chronic pain, such as sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, low back pain, shoulder pain, and much more.

Our chronic pain patients choose laser therapy from Texas Nerve and Spine because it:

  • Provides Significant Relief Without Pain or Side Effects
  • Cost-Effective
  • Reduce Inflammation
  • Boost Blood Flow
  • Accelerate Tissue Repair
Neuropathy Pain Relief Treatments Foster, TX
Neuropathy Pain Relief Treatments Foster, TX
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Motor Function Re-Training Therapy

When your motor functions are limited or non-existent from neuropathy, it can ruin your life. You lose the ability to be independent - one of the hallmarks of being human. Fortunately, with Motor Function Retraining Therapy at Texas Nerve and Spine, patients suffering from neuropathy related motor function issues have a light at the end of the tunnel. This type of specialized physical therapy helps people recover from neuropathy that leaves their motor functions lacking. The goal of Motor Function Retraining Therapy is to regain coordination and strength.

Motor Function Retraining Therapy is a crucial part of the motor function rehabilitation process because it helps patients regain the independence they lost. It helps patients return to their original level of motor function or better.

Neuropathy Pain Relief Treatments Foster, TX
Neuropathy Pain Relief Treatments Foster, TX

How Does Motor Function Re-Training Work?

Based on our Brain to Body Strengthening System, our experts design custom exercise programs based on the patient's needs. We may also use electrical stimulation and other modalities for more effective sessions and recovery.

Motor Function Retraining Therapy provides many benefits, including:

  • Improved Flexibility
  • More Strength
  • Increased Range of Motion
  • Re-Claim Independence
  • More Independence
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Neuropathy Pain Relief Treatments Foster, TX

Myofascial Release Therapy

Myofascial Release Therapy gives patients neuropathy relief in Foster, TX, and boosts mobility by loosening tight muscles. There are similarities to traditional massages, however, Myofascial Release Therapy focuses on soft tissues and the muscular system in your body to relieve tension and stress on muscles.

How Does Myofascial Release Therapy Work?

Tight muscles have reduced blood flow and less oxygen, leading to restricted movement and intense pain. Our system uses state-of-the-art technology to apply acute, high-velocity vibration directly to the affected tissue to provide the patient with the environment necessary to increase mobility and reduce pain.

Benefits of this type of therapy include:

  • Improved Tissue Recovery
  • Reduced Soreness
  • Improved Range of Motion
  • Increases Blood Flow
  • Better Neuromuscular Efficiency
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Neuro Impulse Therapy

When the nerves are weakened, due to neuropathy, pain develops, inflammation increases, and blood flow decreases. If you're searching for a safe, effective way to deal with painful spine related nerve issues Neuro Impulse Therapy may be a great option for neuropathy relief in Foster, TX. Unlike common chiropractic therapies, this advanced therapy does not involve any "cracking" or significant adjustments.

How Does Neuro Activation Wall Therapy Work?

Any type of injury can cause dysfunction and weakness in your brain. To improve cognition and the neurological connection between the brain, the muscles, and the nerves, some injured patients choose to undergo Interactive Neurocognitive Therapy using our Neuro Activation Wall. This wall retains, strengthens, and restores proper function to the brain and nervous system without relying on medications or invasive therapies.

Neuro Impulse Therapy works by using very specific impulses directed at the area causing pain. These targeted impulses send a signal to your body so that it can begin healing and repairing your body naturally.

Texas Nerve and Spine patients choose Neuro Impulse Therapy because it:

  • Improves Cognition
  • Strengthens Damaged Nerves
  • Boosts Balance and Mobility
  • Is Non-Invasive
  • Does Not Require Addictive Medicines
  • Does Not Require Recovery Time
  • Does Not Present Any Risk of Infection
Neuropathy Pain Relief Treatments Foster, TX

Peripheral Neuropathy Rehabilitation

Neuropathy Pain Relief Treatments Foster, TX

Peripheral neuropathy occurs when there is a lack of blood flow to the nerves in areas like your feet and hands. When these nerves are devoid of blood, they begin to decay and degenerate because they don't have enough oxygen or nutrients. Eventually, the nerves in your body shrivel up, causing pain, numbness, balance problems, and other painful symptoms.

How Does Peripheral Neuropathy Rehabilitation Work?

Our Brain to Body program works wonders for neuropathy issues like these by using state-of-the-art technology like laser therapy and personalized, strategic plans of action created around our patient's needs. If you're looking for both short and long-term pain relief from peripheral neuropathy, this could be the solution you need.

Spinal Decompression Therapy

Spinal conditions that cause neuropathy range in severity from bearable to crippling. To get to the bottom of your spine conditions, our team uses X-Rays to pinpoint the location of your spine's disease. From there, we craft a custom rehabilitation program that addresses the underlying causes of your pain and neuropathy.

Neuropathy Pain Relief Treatments Foster, TX
Neuropathy Pain Relief Treatments Foster, TX

How Does Spinal Decompression Therapy Work?

Spinal decompression works by gently stretching the spine. When the spine is stretched, it changes its position. This change relieves pressure off the discs in your spine, which act as cushions in your back. By creating negative pressure, herniated and bulging discs retract, giving the nerves and structures in your back relief. This relief sends nutrient-rich fluids and oxygen to the discs so they can heal properly.

Your Path to Neuropathy Relief Starts at Texas Nerve and Spine

Neuropathy can be debilitating. But it doesn't have to be permanent. Your journey to a neuropathy-free life starts with a simple four-step process at Texas Nerve and Spine:

step-one

Identify the Root Cause of Your Neuropathy

At Texas Nerve and Spine, our doctors understand that true neuropathy relief in Foster, TX, won't happen until we can uncover its underlying cause(s). Our specialists will perform detailed exams and review your medical history to understand the full scope of your condition.

step-two

Develop a Plan for Healing

Once we have discovered the underlying reasons for your neuropathy, it's time to begin healing. Our team will work together to craft a personalized treatment plan to provide long-term relief for your neuropathy.

step-three

Provide a Plan of Care

Our team has the experience and resources to provide you with your plan of care. This plan will be based on your needs and our Brain to Body Strengthening System, giving you the relief you deserve - naturally.

step-four

Continued Support

Neuropathy relief cannot be accomplished without a tested system and a purpose-driven team that supports your recovery. That's why our expert staff will assess your journey to recovery and be there for support every step of the way. Because when you are a patient at Texas Nerve and Spine, you're never alone.

Latest News in Foster, TX

Babysitting Connection offers affordable child care and help to Central Texas foster parents

Finding certified and affordable child care for foster families remains a challenge in our area.AUSTIN, Texas — Typically, when parents need a babysitter, they can ask a neighbor, relative or friend to help.For foster parents, it can be a little trickier. Foster parents aren't allowed to leave children with someone unless that person has been vetted and certified with foster agencies or the State of Texas.Beth Heyer has a background of working with children in foster care and saw the need for a company here in Aust...

Finding certified and affordable child care for foster families remains a challenge in our area.

AUSTIN, Texas — Typically, when parents need a babysitter, they can ask a neighbor, relative or friend to help.

For foster parents, it can be a little trickier. Foster parents aren't allowed to leave children with someone unless that person has been vetted and certified with foster agencies or the State of Texas.

Beth Heyer has a background of working with children in foster care and saw the need for a company here in Austin that could better support foster families. She started Babysitting Connection and created a network of local babysitters who are vetted and certified to watch children in foster care.

She said the service can be used for a wide range of scenarios – whether that's a doctor appointment, going to vote, a date night or even just taking a breather.

"Families need a break. All parents need a break. So the fact that these families, in a lot of cases, are dealing with children that are coming out of trauma, children that are coming out of difficult situations – these parents really need a break," Heyer said.

She said she also runs a nonprofit that works alongside Babysitting Connection to better support foster families. It's called BC Gives Back.

"If the family can't pay the hourly wage to the babysitter – which is typically $18 tp $20 an hour, depending [on] how many kids they have – Foster Angels, we've worked with them and we've talked to them and there's an opportunity for them to provide support. We've also said, too, 'We will find a way to get you the care you need.'"

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There are three levels of membership to Babysitting Connection: basic, premium and platinum. Memberships start at $29.99 a month.

Heyer said the biggest hurdle for her company is getting the message out to foster agencies that it is even an option for families. She encourages foster parents to directly contact their foster agencies and let them know that they would like to start being able to utilize the service.

To learn more, you can contact Beth directly at [email protected] or by calling 512-200-4418.

KVUE launched the Forever Families segment with Partnerships for Children (PFC) in June 2020 to highlight children in the Heart Gallery of Central Texas who need secure and permanent families. Every day, there are nearly 1,000 children waiting to get adopted in Central Texas, according to PFC.

Judge to consider holding Texas in contempt following new evidence, testimony in foster care case

AUSTIN (KXAN) – A federal judge is considering holding the state of Texas in contempt of court over ongoing problems in the Texas foster care system.Following days of testimony at the latest hearing in a lawsuit that has lasted over 12 years, U.S. District Judge Janis Jack could decide to fine the state for not meeting some of her specific, court-ordered reforms. Lawyers representing thousands of children in the state’s care asked Judge Jack to go a step further and to consider ...

AUSTIN (KXAN) – A federal judge is considering holding the state of Texas in contempt of court over ongoing problems in the Texas foster care system.

Following days of testimony at the latest hearing in a lawsuit that has lasted over 12 years, U.S. District Judge Janis Jack could decide to fine the state for not meeting some of her specific, court-ordered reforms. Lawyers representing thousands of children in the state’s care asked Judge Jack to go a step further and to consider placing parts of the system into what’s called a receivership – a mechanism typically used in corporate law, which allows a court appointee to take control of an entity.

For three days, they brought former caseworkers, a former foster child, and a child welfare expert to testify on specific stories and cases, as well as more broadly on the living conditions and experiences of kids in the system.

Paul Yetter, the lead attorney for the plaintiff children, told KXAN that while Judge Jack said she would not place any part of the Texas system into a receivership, he hoped she might consider taking other steps.

“The evidence was so powerful, and frankly, so troubling and disturbing about what these children – and it’s not just the children – what the caseworkers are going through every day across the state,” he said in an interview after the hearing concluded. “The judge – obviously, she’s very familiar with the system. She’s seen a lot of terrible things, and even this week surprised her, I think, and she made it clear that these children deserve better.”

Several leaders within the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) and the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) were also called to testify. For example, the associate commissioner for Child Protective Services at DFPS emphasized the progress and improvements that have been made at her agency. The Deputy Executive Commissioner for Regulatory Services at HHSC testified that addressing staffing issues was a “priority” for his team.

Yetter said his team was “shocked” when attorneys representing the state only called one witness for testimony.

KXAN reached out to Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, the private firm now representing the state in this matter, for comment and will update this story if we hear back. KXAN also reached out to spokespeople at DFPS and HHSC, who declined to comment on pending litigation.

Judge Jack has held the state in contempt of court twice before during the course of the lawsuit, in 2019 and in 2020.

Federal judge weighs contempt over Texas foster care system, but won't order federal takeover

A federal judge will weigh contempt fines over accusations that the state of Texas has failed to improve its foster care system after court mandates, but she won't yet order a partial federal takeover of the state's child welfare agency.Lawyers for the state and current and former foster kids rested their cases in Dallas federal court Wednesday afternoon after three days of witness testimony. The state rested after less than an hour of direct examination Wednesday.Plaintiffs sued the state 12 years ago arguing Texas’ chil...

A federal judge will weigh contempt fines over accusations that the state of Texas has failed to improve its foster care system after court mandates, but she won't yet order a partial federal takeover of the state's child welfare agency.

Lawyers for the state and current and former foster kids rested their cases in Dallas federal court Wednesday afternoon after three days of witness testimony. The state rested after less than an hour of direct examination Wednesday.

Plaintiffs sued the state 12 years ago arguing Texas’ child welfare system doesn't properly investigate outcries of abuse by disabled children, that it gives caseworkers too-high caseloads and that it doesn't properly manage the amount and types of psychotropic medications foster children take, among other allegations.

"We got no evidence of good faith ... we got no evidence of a desire to improve," said lead plaintiff attorney Paul Yetter in closing arguments.

Defense attorneys with Gibson Dunn, led by Allyson Ho and Prerak Shah, argue the state’s foster care system is properly overseeing children’s mental health drug prescriptions, and that Texas has complied with Judge Janis Jack's orders to improve its investigations.

Jack has heard testimony since Monday to determine whether Texas should be fined for contempt or be subject to a receivership, which would allow partial federal takeover of the state’s foster care system. Caseworkers have testified their caseloads for children without placement in licensed foster homes — also known as CWOP — continue to stack up and weigh on their performance, mental health and the wellbeing of the children they watch. They said that's worsened by poor conditions in group homes.

Alleged poor oversight of foster children’s use of psychotropic meds — medicine used to treat psychiatric disorders — was the topic of Wednesday’s testimony from medical experts. Psychiatrist Christopher Bellonci testified there's already uncertainty in medical research about how safe it is for children to take two or more psychotropic medications at a time.

Bellonci said that's why the Department of Family and Protective Services' parameters for psychotropic medication use are necessary — state agencies must continually monitor a child's response to medication. Red flags include a child taking too much medicine, or taking certain medicine too young, he said.

But a March 2023 report by Judge Janis Jack's federal court monitors showed out of 161 case files, about 47% of those children were prescribed four or more psychotropic medications. Only 28% of those children actually had their prescriptions reviewed as part of DFPS parameters.

"I frankly didn't understand why that was happening," Bellonci said.

Former foster child Jackie Juarez testified earlier in the week she was prescribed several psychotropics and Benadryl, which she said made her so sleepy she couldn't stay awake in school.

Medical records show "Child C," who had intellectual disabilities, was taking about 12 pills, some multiple times a day, and her records were signed by the group home staff member who was accused of raping her.

Bellonci said he sees evidence Juarez and other kids may be overmedicated, sometimes with the wrong medicine entirely, which “raises tons of concern,” especially when plaintiffs’ lawyers said those prescriptions weren't reviewed.

“We know how to do this, and it’s not being done,” Bellonci said.

Ryan Van Ramshorst, who oversees Medicaid and CHIP Services for the Health and Human Services Commission, was the state’s only witness. He testified the psychotropic medication review process is operating as it should in conjunction with Superior HealthPlan and Star Health, the managed care program for Texas foster children.

He also said the amount of foster children in the state’s care on four or more psychotropic medications has dropped from 6% in 2004 to 2.9% in 2021 — about 1,300 of the 45,870 kids in foster care that year, according to data on the DFPS website.

There were 38,294 foster children in the state’s care last year. About 47,000 are under Star Health as of April. That number includes some former foster care children and teens between 18 and 21.

People who work closely with foster children such as residential providers can request reviews of a child’s prescription themselves, according to Superior policy. Reviews can also be triggered by health screening, automated claims data or a court request.

But plaintiffs’ attorney Paul Yetter questioned why it seemed so few foster care providers made those requests — data showed providers did not make any PMUR requests for children in the first six months of fiscal year 2022.

“Sir, I think this is an opportunity for additional training and improvement,” Van Ramshorst responded.

Through their own request, plaintiffs’ attorneys also received state data that showed 203 children who were taking four or more psychotropic drugs hadn’t been reviewed as of the summer of 2023. A subsequent review of 56 of those children showed 29 of them might benefit from taking less psychotropic medications — but Yetter pointed out nothing had yet been done.

He pressed Van Ramshorst on whether the state’s parameters on psychotropic drugs were in place to keep children safe.

“The parameters are in place to support safe and effective prescription of psychotropic medications to foster children,” Van Ramshorst said.

Yetter and Jack weren’t satisfied with the answer. Jack at times seemed irritated with Van Ramshorst responses, asking if he felt any responsibility to the children of Texas as a state employee.

“I’m committed to ensure the health and safety of children enrolled in Medicaid,” he responded.

Jack didn't give any indication of a timeline for her ruling but said it would be narrow. She also won't order receivership but will carry the plaintiffs' motion to order it forward.

Jack told the court she was sorry the lawsuit had gotten to this point and hoped for better from the state.

"It doesn't hurt to go over and above, not just the minimum standard," she said.

Got a tip? Email Toluwani Osibamowo at [email protected]. You can follow Toluwani on Twitter @tosibamowo.

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Houston foster care student beats the odds, graduating from Texas Southern University

FULL: Houston woman shares foster care storyRona-Lin Frank was raised in foster care and is rising above the odds as she will soon receive her bachelor's degree from Texas Southern University, something only a small percentage of youth in foster care achieve. She shares her story of growing up in the system and how her foster care mother influenced her education and personal growth.HOUSTON - Many students in universities will be receiving their bachelor's degree in December, and one Houston-area woman is risi...

FULL: Houston woman shares foster care story

Rona-Lin Frank was raised in foster care and is rising above the odds as she will soon receive her bachelor's degree from Texas Southern University, something only a small percentage of youth in foster care achieve. She shares her story of growing up in the system and how her foster care mother influenced her education and personal growth.

HOUSTON - Many students in universities will be receiving their bachelor's degree in December, and one Houston-area woman is rising above the odds as a foster care student, receiving her degree from Texas Southern University.

Rona-Lin Frank, 25, moved to Houston from New Orleans, Louisiana before Hurricane Katrina struck. She bounced around from relative to relative until Franks says her brother notified Child Protective Services about the treatment she was receiving from her mother and the environment she was living in. Frank then went on to become a foster care youth.

She stayed in one home for a short while before having to leave after a few months and eventually, she found her way to another home with a mother she says was "born into my heart".

SUGGESTED: Sponsor a child in foster care with Depelchin Children’s Center Holiday Project

"The one that I currently have, that has been my mother who was born into my heart I like to call her. You know, we aren't blood, but we are bonded by the situations that brought us together," Frank said.

Her foster mother pushed her to pursue her education and Frank attributes that as what helped her become the woman she is today.

"You know, I feel like not everybody can say that they had a good experience, but I feel like mine was not the worst one that you'll come across," she said. "You know, coming from the circumstances that I did come from, I can say that they were pretty rough. But I can say that I feel like essentially I ended up where I was supposed to be because that changed me as a person in a positive way."

The 25-year-old credits the mother "born into her heart" for being the one to encourage her to take risks and stand up for herself.

Frank is preparing to get her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Texas Southern University, which she was also influenced to pursue, based on her experience in foster care when she was younger.

According to a 2017 study from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, "Research shows that although over 80% of youth in foster care report wanting to go to college, only 2-9% who attend college receive a bachelor’s degree."

According to Frank, she had a psychologist who gave her insights she wasn't aware of and brought things out of her she didn't know she was capable of.

"So I feel like the people in my life kind of helped me shape what my career would look like for me, like what I wanted it to look like. So I feel like psychology was the field for me because I really do have a passion for helping people," she stated. "I feel like ever since I got help as an individual, I feel like that's a calling for me as well because I feel like I take pride in that. I take joy in that, and I really do like to see other people succeed."

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Frank's message to other youth in foster care or who were formerly in foster care is to not quit.

"Your circumstances and your situation that landed you into care is not your fault. You know, you can't feel guilty about the things that have happened in your past," Frank said. "It does not mean that you have to give up on life as well, does not mean you have to give up on an education either. There are a lot of resources out there that can help former and current foster youth, and you have to take full advantage of it."

Federal court hears evidence in Texas foster care contempt hearing

In a soft and sad voice, Jackie Juarez described her life after she entered the state's foster care system in a federal court room in Dallas.She spent seven years being passed between group homes, hospitals and finally the state’s unlicensed placements. Her time bouncing from placement to placement exemplified a near perfect encapsulation of problems the state is in court defending itself over.Lawyers for the state’s foster care system are trying to fend off contempt complaints stemming from alleged failures to obse...

In a soft and sad voice, Jackie Juarez described her life after she entered the state's foster care system in a federal court room in Dallas.

She spent seven years being passed between group homes, hospitals and finally the state’s unlicensed placements. Her time bouncing from placement to placement exemplified a near perfect encapsulation of problems the state is in court defending itself over.

Lawyers for the state’s foster care system are trying to fend off contempt complaints stemming from alleged failures to observe several court orders from federal court monitors and plaintiffs in a case that stretches back 12 years.

In court documents, lawyers for current and past foster children said the state has poor abuse and neglect investigations into intellectually disabled youth, overprescribes powerful psychotropic drugs, has overburdened case workers with large caseloads and extra shifts in unlicensed placements, has not fully informed kids about their rights and how to report abuse, fails to train workers in sexual abuse recognition, and who then fail to provide caregivers with sexual abuse histories of youth. The hearing is expected to last all week.

Lawyers leaned forward to listen to the now 18-year-old Juarez speak about how at one facility staff would tell misbehaving youth that they were there because their parents didn’t want them. She was 11.

She told the court hearing about the year her case worker gave her an iPod for Christmas. The iPod was Wi-Fi enabled and could receive texts. Before long a male staff member started texting her.

“He would say that I look pretty and that he liked my personality.”

Before long he was texting her several times each day. She was 15.

When she reported it, they didn’t fire the man — they took the iPod.

The male staff member got another girl to fight her, and Juarez was moved to a psychiatric hospital, she testified.

The episode highlighted persistent problems in the state’s Provider Investigations, a section of the Health and Human Services Commision that investigates group homes that deal with youth and adults with disabilities.

The section was broken off from another department, and the scope of its work increased past the point of its staffing abilities resulting in eight years of backlogged investigations. It can take months for an investigation to happen — which violates the federal court’s orders — which mandate that investigations begin within 72 hours — 24 hours for serious allegations of abuse and neglect.

“We are very focused on filling the vacancies. That’s been a priority of ours,” testified Stephen Pahl, deputy executive commissioner for regulatory services.

Pahl, who has been in the job for about two years, was grilled about the eight year problem.

Federal court monitors filed a report in September pointing to multiple issues with these investigations from the time start them, to the lack of documentation when a case is ruled out, to several cases where investigators just got it wrong.

“Child C” listed in the report made a dozen outcries of neglect, sexual and physical abuse while staying at C3 Academy. One investigation was delayed as long as a year. In her time there, she was tasered and dropped off at a hospital with a broken jaw.

Abuse was a staple of Juarez’s experience after getting out of the psychiatric hospital. She was then a Child Without Placement (CWOP) or housed in unregulated, unlicensed, and what federal monitors have called unsafe housing in hotels and state offices.

Juarez was in seven different CWOP placements during this time. The hotels would have four beds for 10 children. She reported fights with other kids, female children texting adult men they met on social media to come pick them up, and overworked case workers.

“No caseworkers liked doing CWOP,” she said. The four-hour shifts were often tacked on to already full caseloads. One case worker testified she drove 19 hours in a day, more than 700 miles, because of CWOP.

Juarez talked about being in placements and forced to take as many as eight different drugs a day, from low-level benadryl to more powerful psychotropics.

“They would make me sleepy, and I would throw up every night,” she said.

Her complaints were ignored by staff. A doctor told her to “just give it time to adjust.”

She had been on the drugs for three years at that point.

Attorney's representing foster children have repeatedly questioned how the state provides oversight on prescriptions, implying strongly in one hearing that the system was a rubber stamp for powerful, mood altering drugs.

“No one ever questions the medications,” Juarez said.

Juarez weaned herself off the drugs cold turkey, she said. She’s now in extended foster care, living more independently in a program — finishing her G.E.D. (she said she only got to 8th grade while in foster care). She hopes to go to college.

“Kids need to be heard, and things need to change,” she told the court, her voice wavering. “Everybody tells you ‘Oh, CPS is going to take care of you.’ But just like they let me down. They let a lot of kids down.”

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