Happy Summer! As we wrap up the school year, it gives us time to reflect on the many highlights and achievements of the children we serve. In our CASA Program, elementary school children in our N.E.S.T. Program flourished with 75% achieving their personal academic and behavioral goals this past year! We can’t wait to recognize each of them and celebrate their many accomplishments at an end of the year Incentive Party in June. We have had 45 infants and toddler find permanency by being reunited with parents, placed with family members or be adopted just during this school year – a goal we think is so important for these young children at those critical first few years of life. We had our very first former WINGS student graduate from college and our second is due to graduate college this month! In our CAC, this school year we have celebrated 41 graduations from therapy when children heal from their trauma and deep wounds of sexual abuse. We have provided a safe place for 609 children to tell their stories to our forensic interviewers. And we have reviewed 2810 reports of child abuse and referred hundreds of these children to our CAC for services – children who might otherwise have fallen through the cracks.
It has been a very busy legislative session with foster care and child welfare at the top of the state’s priority list. There has been much media attention about the broken child welfare system and it’s been in the national and state news almost daily. There were many bills related to child welfare. We are happy to report that two very important pieces of legislation will now become law in the state of Texas. One bill addresses inappropriate student-teacher relationships and holds the superintendents of schools accountable if they had knowledge of this activity. A second supports foster care youth who require special education services by allowing their foster parent to serve as the special education decision-maker immediately when a child is placed in their home. These are critical steps in ensuring the safety and protection of all children. Thank you to all our volunteers, board and advisory council members and staff who provided testimony, wrote letters, made phone calls and visited our legislators in Austin and in their local offices. Your voices were heard and we appreciate your advocacy.
We have an action-packed summer ahead at CAFB. Join us for our new and improved WINGS Program throughout June and July, our NEST Workshop in August, or our Back-To-School Backpack Program at the end of Summer. Thank you for all you do!
CEO, Child Advocates of Fort Bend