Watch the video below to hear a message from Ruthanne
Classic Chevrolet Sugar Land. . . Making a Difference
Special thanks to our community “advocate”, Classic Chevrolet for providing the transportation for our N.E.S.T. programming during Spring Break. (See more about the N.E.S.T. Spring Break programming below.) Jerry Parks and Ray Aguilar made sure Child Advocates of Fort Bend was able to get our children to all their educational destinations during the week and they decked the kids out in Classic Chevrolet “swag”. We are grateful to Classic Chevrolet and thank them for being an amazing community partner. We appreciate YOU! (Pictured with CASA staff is Jerry Parks.)
Children’s Advocacy Center Update
The CAC continues to provide services to children and families. Forensic interviews are being conducted on site with a skeleton staff coming into the Center and scheduling only one interview at a time to practice social distancing. All other staff are working remotely. State Intakes of child abuse continue to be reviewed by staff remotely and they are coordinating the joint response with law enforcement, CPS and the CAC to ensure priority cases do not fall through the cracks.
The CAC is triaging interviews and will meet at the office for cases where children may be in danger or law enforcement requires an immediate interview. Clinical Family Advocates are doing crisis sessions with the caregivers during the interviews and following up with families remotely to check in.
Criminal Court Advocates are following up with families remotely to make sure that they remain engaged in the criminal cases. Therapists have been training online and are ready to begin conducting therapy sessions remotely. In the meantime, they have been calling and speaking with each client individually. The children need us now more than ever and we are here and ready to help them.
CASA Continuing Our Mission and Work During COVID 19
Our CASA Advocates are making sure that we are still providing a voice for one of the most vulnerable populations – the children that they serve. Our fearless advocates are continuing to put forth their best advocacy efforts to ensure that the children’s needs are being met. Our staff and volunteers are contacting children using digital and virtual means.
We have implored our Volunteers to continue to advocate for the children’s educational and medical needs. We have encouraged them to make sure that children have the resources needed to do their schoolwork and to ensure that medical appointments are rescheduled and followed through as needed.
Volunteers who need resources or support are encouraged to reach out to their Advocacy Specialist. In addition, please check out the attached educational resources and top ten ways to engage kids when video calling.
Continuing Education at Your Fingertips!
Coronavirus and the need for physical distancing have led us to find creative ways to meet our needs. As a result, we recently launched Engage By Cell to provide Continuing Education for our volunteers. This exciting mobile platform allows us to bring useful resources and training to volunteers via cell phone. Volunteers simply text “CAFB” to 56512 to receive a link to access mobile information about different topics affecting the children that we serve and our volunteer work. We launched the platform recently and are adding content weekly. We will have additional ways to stay in touch via text messaging using this platform in the future. Volunteers are encouraged to check out this new resource and provide feedback to our CASA staff as they use the tool. Stay tuned for more information as we launch additional features.
We are happy to introduce our new blog – Therapist’s Corner and grateful to Elena Petre for kicking it off earlier this month. Elena offers strategies and suggestions to help families cope during this stressful time. Read her tips and follow the blog for more helpful information in the coming weeks.
Welcome New Volunteers!
We welcomed our newest class of volunteers to the Child Advocates of Fort Bend family on March 5, 2020 at our Swearing-in Ceremony with Judge Bell. We are so thankful for each person in this class and their dedication to the children we serve. The new volunteers are: Elaine Ayinde, Christina Burnett, Tracy Crane, Jason Demmi, Trisha Goins, Shanell Hayes, Julia Jagnanan, Brenda Jenkins, Jenetha Jones, Casey Mosley, Linda Munsie, Don-Carlos Scarborough, Maria Scott, Paula Silva, Deborah Spencer, Tiffany Tran, Yingchu Velasquez and Misbah Yasin.
Cookie Joes Gives Back
Thank you to Cookie Joe’s Dancin’ School for having us out for their God Bless Texas event in early March. We shared the day with other community organizations by handing out information and goodies to families. It was a great day in Sugar Land watching all the little ones show-off their dance moves. Cookie Joe made the day even sweeter with a $1,000 donation to help the children we serve.
Youth Spring Break Giving Back Event
On March 10th we had our annual Spring Break Giving back event. Youth gave back to our community by sorting donations for Catholic Charities’ Grocery Store, learned some new techniques for self-defense, created our own TRBI stress balls with water beads and shared our circles of trust with our peers.
We would like to express our gratitude to Derrick Fury and Janette Lapus with Sugar Land MMA who held a fun Jiu-Jitsu self-defense class for the kids. They were amazing, flexible instructors and our children had a blast learning outside in our new courtyard!
We are also very appreciative to Classic Chevrolet for donating the two vans which transported our group to Catholic Charities in Richmond so that they could help sort donations for Catholic Charities’ grocery store. Special thanks to Matt Johns for connecting us to Dottie Batemen for a tour and teaching us about what you do for our community.
Through the Looking Glass Gala RESCHEDULED
We have rescheduled the Through the Looking Glass Gala stay tuned for details. The event will still take place at the Sugar Land Marriott Town Square. In addition, the annual Transforming Lives Breakfast will not take place on September 24th; however, much of the planned programming will be included during the Gala. We would love for you to be part of our initiative.
We are committed to keeping everyone protected, but the work goes on. Your help is needed now more than ever! The children we serve are counting on us to continue to Provide a Voice for them so they don’t fall through the cracks in the legal system; to Heal their Hurt through forensic interviews, medical exams and therapy; and to Break the Cycle of abuse with prevention and outreach in schools and in the community.
If you’re interested in participating in these events or have any questions, contact Tarina at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FRIENDS Mission and Martinis CANCELLED
FRIENDS of Child Advocates of Fort Bend has cancelled their annual Mission and Martinis membership social originally scheduled for April 2nd. Stay tuned for updates on this event. Please contact Kristin Stiles-Janossy at email@example.com if you have any questions or would like to receive more information about what a $40 membership entails.
The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office has cancelled The Pinwheel Project but we have scheduled our 1st Virtual Light of Hope Ceremony. Please join us on Friday, April 3rd at 11am CST on Facebook for a Special Light of Hope Kickoff for our community! Please join us online and wear blue to represent Child Abuse Prevention Month from home!
April is. . . Child Abuse Prevention Month
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and we are your “go to” resource for safe, family-friendly Child Abuse Prevention Month Activities while social distancing. Our Community Engagement Team will be providing several family activities and virtual events for you and your family to help bring awareness.
“Tuesdays @ 2” will feature Child Advocates of Fort Bend staff sharing online tips and support for all families going through these uncertain times. We will be on Facebook Live to chat and answer your questions.
“Friday Fun Day Activities” will include a “DIY Pinwheel Garden”, virtual coloring contest and Blue Ribbon awareness events that you can host in your neighborhoods (without the crowds).
You can also show your support by wearing blue, creating pinwheels or any other activities and TAGGING us on Facebook and Instagram. Simply post a photo and tag us @cafortbend or @Child Advocates of Fort Bend.
Now more than ever, we need to spread the word about how to report child abuse. With the stress of Coronavirus, heightened family tensions and children out of school, we need neighbors and family members to keep an eye on our children to keep them safe. Social distancing will give us all a chance be creative as we spread Child Abuse Awareness! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for ideas and inspiration!
Mark your calendar!
April 3, 2020 Wear Blue Day and join us on Facebook to kick off Child Abuse Prevention Month
December 11-12, 2020 Christmas Home Tour