Welcome to the launch of our newly-redesigned newsletter. We hope that this new format better reflects the important work we do helping children who have been abused and neglected by providing a voice, healing their hurt and breaking the cycle. As you may have seen, child abuse and neglect is getting front-page coverage in media outlets across the state. With reports of hundreds of children going long periods of time without being seen, high turnover of CPS caseworkers, and nearly 50% of children in the foster care system not having an advocate, the magnitude of the problem in Texas has gotten the attention of our state legislators.
Against this backdrop, the services we provide at Child Advocates of Fort Bend are more important now than ever before. Because we have demonstrated our commitment to serving 100% of children in the foster care system with a CASA, we have been called upon by our state agency to visit foster children who are placed far outside their home county and do not have a CASA who regularly visits them. Under the name “Courtesy CASA”, we have hired a dedicated person who spends her days driving to 22 cities across Eastern and Coastal Texas to ensure that these children do not fall through the cracks and become a statistic on the evening news. I am so proud that we have such a dedicated CASA Team who stepped up without hesitation to provide this support – because it’s the right thing to do.
And it’s not just our CASA Team that has taken on additional responsibilities to fill the gap. Recognizing that many children who were alleged victims of sexual abuse or severe physical abuse were falling through the cracks of the system and not being referred for a forensic interview, our Children’s Advocacy Center stepped up and added a supplemental service as well. Named “MEP” which stands for Multi-Disciplinary Team Enhancement Program, we hired a coordinator to review all reports of child abuse to supplement reviews by CPS and Law Enforcement. With this additional set of eyes, we have identified hundreds of children over the past year who had not been referred for services. Working closely with our partners, we are bringing these children into our CAC, providing them with forensic interviews, therapy, medical referrals and case coordination. I am again so proud that our CAC Team stepped up and took on this additional responsibility – because it’s the right thing to do.
Thank you to our volunteers, board members and donors who are making a difference for these children every day. You are the everyday heroes who ensure that no child falls through the cracks. Together, we will fight to improve the welfare of every child in the state of Texas.
Every Child. Every Service. Every Effort.
CEO, Child Advocates of Fort Bend