CAFB August News - Child Advocates of Fort Bend
CAFB August News

Happy August!

I hope you are having a wonderful summer with your families and friends.  We have been busy at CAFB and have so much to share with you.  We are excited to welcome our latest Volunteers who just completed their Pre-service Training and will be sworn in on August 8.  We were delighted to have one of our largest classes with 20 attendees, of which 8 were men!  We celebrated 21 volunteers with an amazing Case Closing Dinner and Celebration on June 27 and congratulate all the CASA Volunteers and CAC Mentors who played such a critical role in advocating for the safety and permanency of so many children.  The Summer N.E.S.T. Workshop hosted 6-13 years old with an interactive week of learning and enrichment.  (See below for details about all the places these children visited and STEM learnings).  We have also participated in two trials this month for children served in our CAC and our CASA programs and had our Forensic Interviewers and therapists provide critical testimony while our Criminal Court Advocate was there every day to support the children during this very traumatic time.

Our building remodel and expansion is moving along briskly!  The foundation for our brand-new CAC has now been poured, steel is up and walls will be erected in the next week.  The interiors are being framed and plumbing for our long-awaited new restrooms is installed!  (See the capital campaign spotlight for photos of the building progress).  Furniture, signage and IT are in the works.  Stay tuned for the launch of our new For The Children’s Sake website where you can go for the latest news and photos of this major capital project and our capital campaign.  Our campaign goal is to raise $8 million and we have just hit a key milestone — $6.45 million!  We are so excited that our employees have chosen to support this initiative with personal gifts to our Employee Giving Campaign, a true testament to their passion for expanding services for the children and to their commitment to Child Advocates of Fort Bend.

Thank you to our volunteers, board, councils, partners and staff for all you do every day to change the lives of children who have been abused and neglected.

For the Children’s Sake,

Ruthanne Mefford
CEO, Child Advocates of Fort Bend

The Campaign For the Children’s Sake is about building far more than a structure.

It is about transforming lives for generations to come.

Progress Meter: The Campaign For The Children’s Sake

Thank you to our many, early corporate contributors to the $8 million expansion and remodeling project going on at 5403 Avenue N in Rosenberg. The need for this project is driven by significant increases in the reporting of child abuse and referrals. In 2018, CAFB served 2,586 children and families whose lives were touched by abuse or neglect. This rise of 23 percent over the prior year forces many children to wait 6 to 8 weeks to receive the therapy services they need. CAFB expects the number of families and children served will double in the next five years. To meet this demand, the new Davis George Campus will include 9,000 additional square feet to double the space needed for forensic interview rooms and therapy rooms. It will completely renovate its current 18,000 square feet and provide room for 25 additional staff and many more volunteer trainees. It will add two adjacent lots for expanded parking to accommodate the increased staff and for training and meetings.  The weather has been nice and sunny which means construction on the building is moving right along.  Our team at Forney Construction, Gensler architects and RMG project management are making great progress with interior demolition completed and the framing of our brand new CAC moving right along. It’s taking shape thanks to you!

We wish to express our gratitude to ALL early contributors including the following business leaders who have already made generous commitments to this campaign:

Amegy Bank
BGE, Inc.
Early McClintic & McMillan, LLP
Fluor Corporation
Fort Bend Financial
LJA Engineering
May W. Tape, DDS
PBK Architects, Inc.
Pioneer Bank
Purdue Brandon Fielder Collins and Mott, LLP
RMG – Roth Management Group
Si Environmental
Sprint Waste Services

As we continue to bring you regular updates please check frequently as a special campaign update section is in planning. You can also subscribe to and share these e-updates.

If you are interested in making a contribution or taking a hard hat tour, please contact Jessica Jubin, Development Officer – Campaign Manager 346-327-3606.

Become a Voices for Children Ambassador!

Becoming a VOICES FOR CHILDREN Ambassador is one of the most important ways you can serve the mission of Child Advocates of Fort Bend. Ambassadors are passionate about the work that we do and believe in spreading the word to the community. Ambassadors invite 10 people to a VOICES FOR CHILDREN tour, host the tour and share their personal connection to our agency. Tours are held on-site so guests can see the services we provide, meet our staff and partners and hear real life stories of the work we do. If it is more convenient, Ambassadors can host a tour in their homes, places of business or worship or service organizations. We call this our VOICES FOR CHILDREN – Tour in a Box. Tour guests will leave with a better understanding about the silent epidemic of child abuse and learn what they can do to help end this tragedy.

Contact Dana Mersiovsky at 281-344-5106 or to schedule your tour or learn more.

Promotions and Welcomes!

We’ve had a busy summer and have been hiring new staff and promoting others. Please join us in congratulating Kristy Gutierrez who was promoted to Manager of Forensic Interviews. Kristy is joining Heather Rashid, Manager of Victim Advocacy Services, and Jessica Hernandez, Manager of Therapy Services, who were promoted to leadership positions in our Children’s Advocacy Center. Kristy has been with our agency for four years and we know that she will do a great job in her new role!

In addition, please welcome Elena Petre, LMSW. Elena is our New Bilingual Intake Specialist/Therapist. Elena is a graduate of University of Houston. She is a wonderful addition to our staff and we are very excited to have her as a part of our team!

NEST Team Changes

Please join us in welcoming Alli Waterwall to the Nurturing Education and Social Triumphs Program!  We are excited about our new program member.  If you are a volunteer and are advocating for school-aged children, please contact Alli Waterwall or April Shaver for more details regarding the initiatives and resources our N.E.S.T. program provides.

You can reach Alli Waterwall at and April Shaver at

New CASA Program Position

The CASA Program is constantly seeking ways to improve our advocacy services for children. We want to ensure we are providing advocates with the most innovative and newest research available to help them serve the children. As a result, we have introduced a new position to the CASA program. Krystal Vann has been promoted to the Program Innovation Manager in the CASA program. The Program Innovation Manager is responsible for managing and supervising new initiatives inclusive of special projects including but not limited to Collaborative Family Engagement, Courtesy CASA, Praesidium Guardianship programs, etc. The Program Innovation Manager leads the research in strategic future projects for the CASA program.

Partner Orientation

MDT Coordinators Joe Driver and Sasha Soileau from the CAC hosted Austin and Waller Counties Partner Orientation at the Pattison Volunteer Fire Department. Partners from CPS, Sealy PD, Bellville PD, Brookshire PD, Waller County Sheriff’s Office, Wallis PD, Austin County DA’s office, Waller County DA’s office, SANE nurse from Harris Health System all came together to review how each department can coordinate and work efficiently with the other departments while working child abuse cases.

Training New Volunteers

We needed additional volunteers in our Children’s Advocacy Center, so we hosted a special week-long training for volunteers to learn about the services we provide. They successfully completed the training and will be able to assist staff, children and families daily at the CAC. The ladies who completed the training ( L to R) are: Sheeba George, Suzanne Brisson, Sandra Baseio and Leslie Porter.

Celebrating Volunteers Whose Cases Have Closed

Your greatness is not something you have. It’s what you give!

CASA volunteers and CAC mentors who closed cases in the last 6 months were honored on June 27th at our biannual Case Closing Party! This special event was sponsored by Newmark Homes in Veranda in a beautiful model home. Dinner (courtesy of Newmark Homes) and good conversations were shared as volunteers mingled with staff to catch up on summer activities around the agency! We were pleased to honor these 21 volunteers for providing a voice for children in Fort Bend county.

Honorees were: Selina Ali, Linda Bair, Traci Breland, Lou Ann Davis, Joan Davidson, Richard Garlock, Bill Gibbens, Matt Hayslip, Christy High, Stevie Irby, Deidra Lyons-Lewis, Dana Mersiovsky, Catherine Navarro, Cyndi Shoftner, Sandra Rios-Bond, Deann Rueff, Christy Rundlof, Wanda Sdao, Annaliza Waddell, Barbara Walker, Judy Young.

Training Our Staff!

CASA team members attended the National CASA conference in early June. Held in Atlanta, GA the conference showcased the best and brightest ideas in CASA organizations around the country. Staff learned about the impact of children building a relationship with parents who are incarcerated, how to better advocate for children in educational settings, expanding relationships with grandparents caring for grandchildren, and trauma impacts on the brain, just to name a few. This was an amazing time to learn from other programs and build resiliency within our own CASA team!



Getting Our NEST Kids Ready to go Back to School!

Our four-day NEST Back to School program is full of field trips that promise to get our school aged youth excited to return to the classroom.  The program, which began last Monday, includes stops at Access Health, Pinot’s Palette, The Westlake Fire Station, Urban Chef, Lifetime Fitness, the Museum of Natural Science in Sugar Land, The Children’s Discovery Center, the Crocodile Encounter, and a visit to Robert Shaw’s Robotics Center with Tompkins High School.

New this year is a visit to Setting the Table at Finca Tres Robles where we enjoyed a hands-on experience in farm-to-plate dining.  We had a great time as we harvested, prepared, and shared lunch at the farm!

Check out our social media pages to follow along

and see what we’ve been learning!


Volunteers Needed To Help with Fort Bend Serves

Fort Bend County Social Services Department in partnership with Child Advocates of Fort Bend and other area nonprofit agencies invite you to join us for National Nonprofit Day on August 17th. Fort Bend County is home to numerous nonprofit organizations serving a rapidly growing community with changing demographics, social and economic needs. We are one of many agencies inviting the community to tour our facility on Saturday, August 17th from 10am until 2pm. The hope is that this will allow the community to explore new interests, volunteer opportunities and other ways to get involved through services work and donations.

We need volunteers to help in our Children’s Advocacy Center that day. If you are available and willing to help us, please contact Lindsey at


Save the DATE!

Child Advocates of Fort Bend will have booths at Access Health’s Operation Community Health Fair on Saturday, August 3rd  from 9am until noon (400 Austin St., Richmond, TX 77469) and Saturday, August 10th, 2019 from 9am until noon (307 Texas Parkway, Suite 100, Missouri City, TX 77489). These health fairs benefit students in need of school supplies, shoes, health screenings, and so much more! We are excited to be part of these events and share prevention tools with students and families for back to school!

Want to volunteer at prevention booths or do you know of community event that Child Advocates of Fort Bend could join? Email Lindsey Castellanos at to get plugged in.

CAFB LAT featured in Texas CASA promotional video

Jim Taylor from Amarillo Area CASA and Rhonda Kuykendall with Child Advocates of Fort Bend traveled to Austin July 12th to help Texas CASA create a training video for Legislative Advocacy Teams. Texas CASA also filmed Rep. James White at the Capitol.  They have great advice and stories to share. The video is expected to be released in September.


Kendra Scott Gives Back

Join us on Wednesday, August 28th from 6-8pm for sips, sweets and jewelry at Kendra Scott First Colony.

20% of your purchase will go back to CAFB. If you’re unable to attend, but would still like to show your support, call Kendra Scott in Sugar Land at 832-532-8521, and they’ll place your order with free shipping. Hope to see you soon wearing something new and shiny.


Planning Underway for Christmas Home Tour and Annual Wreath Raffle!    

The Christmas Home Tour is scheduled for December 13th and 14th. The two-day Home Tour hosts visitors from all over Fort Bend County and surrounding areas. Over 3,000 guests will tour the homes, including the 1,000 volunteers that take their time to participate. If would like to discuss showcasing your home and Christmas décor or you are interested in volunteering on the Home Tour committee – contact Lisa at

We are also planning for our 6th annual Wreath Raffle! Everyone will have an opportunity to purchase a raffle ticket and choose the wreath they hope to win. Won’t you please help support us by donating a wreath or swag with a retail value of $150 – $500?  We would like to receive your gorgeous creation by Friday, October 4th.

Mark your calendar!

August 17, 2019 Fort Bend Serves
10am – 2pm
CAFB – Children’s Advocacy Center
6415 Reading Road, Rosenberg, TX 77471

August 28, 2019 Kendra Scott Gives Back Party
6pm – 8pm
Kendra Scott First Colony
16535 Southwest Freeway #3000, Sugar Land, TX 77479

September 26, 2019 Voices for Children Breakfast
Sugar Land Marriott Town Square

November 22, 2019 National Adoption Day
8am – noon
Fort Bend County Justice Center, 3rd Floor
1422 Eugene Heimann Circle, Richmond, TX 774699
RSVP to Metoyer at

December 13 + 14, 2019 Christmas Home Tour
Friday 10am – 4pm and 6pm – 9pm; Saturday 10am – 4pm
Mark your calendar and watch for details. . .


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