We are thrilled to open our new Davis George Campus for Child Advocate of Fort Bend! Our previous building which was built over 50 years ago was completely remodeled and expanded so that we can serve the increasing number of children and families that have suffered from abuse and neglect. Last year, we served 2690 children and families and this number is growing every year as the demand for services increases across our community. Our new building doubles the number of forensic interview rooms so that children have a safe place to tell their stories of abuse, more therapy rooms so that we can heal the hurt from the trauma that these children are experiencing, family meeting rooms so that we can provide case management and clinical family advocacy to families in crisis, a new Training and Learning Center to host trainings throughout the year so that court advocates, staff and volunteers can be trained in trauma-informed care, pre-service and continuing education so they are fully equipped to “provide a voice” for children in the child welfare system, expanded space for our CASA and CAC staff so that we can add critical staff to support our growth and expanded space for our partner agencies to increase their on-site services from the District Attorney’s and County Attorney’s Offices, Children’s Protective Services and the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office to more effectively deliver our Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) model.
Themed “Transforming Lives,” the building’s colors and design bring the healing power of nature to our interior spaces and in a new outdoor courtyard garden. Graphic treatments of butterflies line the hallways and a caterpillar graphic greets the children in the waiting room. Our CAC Lobby is complete with faux trees fashioned out of “bark” trunks and felt leaf canopies with green “grass” carpet. Our three donor walls depict three elements of nature – trees, water and leaves. One wall honors our Capital Campaign donors and features three concentric tree trunks which symbolize the solid foundations of our three campaigns over our nearly 30 year history to support our services and growth. A second wall recognizes our Voices For Children donors and depicts a flowing stream and the sustainability that water provides all living things. The third wall reflects Cumulative Giving and shows a canopy of leaves that changes and grows with each passing season as our services expand.
In our Training and Learning Center, we recognize our volunteers with our Honoring Our Volunteers wall that shows our Child Advocates of the Years since we began, this year’s honorees at our Volunteer Banquet, and our new and long-serving volunteers.
As we embark on the next decade of growth, we are struck by how large the need has become for our services. From our humble beginnings with a few volunteers in rented space, we now operate a comprehensive, continuum of care agency that provided over 25,000 service units last year. From babies with head trauma to elementary children with broken bones to teens who desperately need life skills training to ensure that they are successful when they age out of care, our advocacy and clinical teams at Child Advocates of Fort Bend treat every child with compassion, respect and evidence-based treatment so that they thrive while in care and after.
Over the past 29 years as we have worked with victims who have suffered the effects of abuse and neglect, we have been asked by many in the community, “What can be done to prevent abuse so that these children and others are not abused in the first place?” After studying the issue and looking at various approaches, in 2020, we launched a third service line that focuses on prevention which we call Community Engagement. Although we may not be to eliminate all types of abuse though our actions, we feel that by informing and educating the community about abuse, we can prevent or reduce the duration or severity of abuse for many children. Under the banner “Break The Cycle”, we are reaching out to our school districts, faith communities, youth-serving organizations, health care providers, parent groups, and first responders with presentations, materials and social media messaging about recognizing signs and symptoms, early intervention, reporting protocols, resiliency and protective factors for children, and services available for free for victims. This prevention initiative will bring together a variety of partners to develop a community response to the epidemic of child abuse.
As we look forward, our outlook is as bright as ever. We will reach more children than ever before and ensure that we provide a voice, heal the hurt and break the cycle of abuse and neglect in our community.
Thank you for having a heart for children, for your loyal support and for your commitment to making our community, our families and our children safe, healthy and strong.
Chief Executive Officer