July News

Friends,

Summer is in full swing and we are busy! We’ve welcomed a new staff member to help alleviate the therapy wait list which was at 109 children just last week. Our summer programs for kids are in full gear and we’re looking for a few volunteers to help with our NEST back to school program. We are honored to be among the 25 charities who were awarded grants from the Indo American Charity Foundation on June 29.

The Legislative session adjourned recently and Texas CASA’s Public Policy Team is planning three webinars in July to cover the legislative outcomes and impact on CASA programs and child advocacy. We’ve got a link to the summary as well as to the webinars for you to learn more.

Fall will be here before you know it! Mark your calendars for our FRIENDS Fall Coffee on October 10th and the Christmas Home Tour December 8th and 9th.

For the Children’s Sake,
Ruthanne Mefford
CEO, Child Advocates of Fort Bend


Leaving a Better Tomorrow:

Many people decide to leave gifts to charities in their wills. And did you know, you can make these gifts to honor someone you love through Child Advocates of Fort Bend? Leaving a tribute gift applies to any type of giving including bequests.

Why make a bequest gift?
It is exceedingly difficult for nonprofit organizations to thrive without an increase in charitable gifts in wills or estate plans. Information from probate courts shows that only a small percentage of local wills leave money to charity. This means any gift you make can make a huge difference.

How large does a bequest have to be?
While some gifts may be large, many are small. Regardless of size, all gifts are important and will make a difference in the lives who follow.

Do I tell the charity I’ve left them a bequest?
This is up to you to decide. Charities like to know in advance so they can recognize your generosity and best accommodate your wishes. Your example to inspire others is another gift in itself.

What documents are needed?  In your best interest, Child Advocates of Fort Bend requests a copy of the gift instrument (will and/or trust document, insurance policy, etc.) in order to verify and properly facilitate the transfer of the gift when the time comes. Personnel at the organization may change over time, and with such an important decision at hand, you can help prepare the organization to best honor your intentions.

What are some other important tips about making a charitable planned gift?
Find an attorney and/or financial advisor to best represent you and your commitment to planned giving. Encourage conversations now between Child Advocates of Fort Bend and your attorney and/or financial advisor to ensure that your intentions are understood and put into action.

Anonymity and Recognition

Child Advocates of Fort Bend understands some donors wish to remain anonymous. If you have made or wish to make a planned giving gift, and desire to remain anonymous, please indicate this by contacting us. Your gift will be handled with the utmost discretion. Have more questions or want to schedule an in person visit to learn more? Please contact Jessica Jubin jjubin@cafb.org or 281-344-5136

CAFB receives grant from Indo American Charity Foundation!

The Indo American Charity Foundation (IACF) and its members have been friends of Child Advocates of Fort Bend for more than 15 years. In that time, they have provided over $100,000 in financial support to our programs, capital building projects and day to day operations. Last week, IACF stepped up again to provide much needed funds for our programs and services to help abused children. We were very honored to be among the 25 charities who received grants from IACF last week.

Their motto is: “We live here, we give here”, and we can’t thank them enough for their steady support to both CAFB and dozens of other local and international causes focusing on health, education, children and families, and especially the most vulnerable in our society.


Meet Julieta Edmond!

The Children’s Advocacy Center is excited to have Julieta Edmond join our team as our newest Bilingual Therapist. Julieta is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has her Masters of Counseling from Sam Houston State University. She worked as a staff clinician for Depelchin for the past three years where she provided individual, group and family therapy to children. Julieta is also a trained Parent Child Interaction Therapist which is a newer modality that we have also been using with children ages 2 – 8.

Julieta is a Fort Bend resident and shared that it has been her goal to work at the Children’s Advocacy Center since she received her Master’s degree. Julieta has a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and has always wanted to be able to advocate for crime victims while using her Master’s degree. Julieta makes our 6 full time therapist and our third Bilingual therapist so we are fortunate to have her as part of the CAFB family.

Thank you to those especially contributing to our CAC’s therapy program and this new position including Episcopal Health Foundation, Fort Bend Cares, Gulf Coast Medical Foundation and the John S. Dunn Foundation.

WINGS Summer Program a Success!

Our first weeks of the newly-formatted WINGS have been a success!  Instead of a one-week Lifeskills and one-week Campus Crawl, this year we are providing our youth with 8 weeks of interactive, educational, interesting and aspirational workshops offered two days every week. The new format was developed after we interviewed foster youth and foster alumni youth and heard what they would find most valuable in curriculum and interactive learning over the Summer.

We’re only halfway through the program and, so far, so good. Youth have visited the University of Houston, Texas A&M University, and The University of Texas at Austin, Sam Houston State University, Texas Southern University, Wharton Junior College, and Texas State Technical College. They’ve toured the campuses, talked to admissions staff, dined on campus and met with representatives of support groups for foster youth on each of the campuses.

They have learned about financial literacy at Wells Fargo and Baker Ripley CPA. They have navigated public transportation through Metro in Houston, attended a driving school, learned about car purchasing and auto careers at CarMax and careers in the health field with Dr. Girardet, our partner and Medical Director of the Children’s Hospital Child Abuse Program.  They’ve learned about services available to them through Depelchin and the Salvation Army, learned to rent an apartment with Imperial Lofts Sugar Land and have taken a cooking class at Sur La Table. Thank you to all the volunteers who have are transporting and accompanying the children on these trips as well as all of the businesses, colleges and individuals who are helping us with the program this summer! Follow our facebook page and watch our progress. . . .

Volunteers Needed!

Child Advocates of Fort Bend will be hosting the N.E.S.T. Back to School Workshop this summer.  We’re looking for volunteers to help chaperone and mentor child participants each day from 8:30 AM- 5:00 PM.  During this workshop, children will participate in educational field trips throughout the community.

Please note: Staff will be transporting children in 2, 12-15 passenger vans.  Depending on the number of participants, there may not be enough room for all volunteers to ride in the vans to and from the field trips.  Volunteers may have to drive their own vehicles.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Krystal Vann at 281-344-5130 or khughes@cafb.org.

Your support is greatly appreciated!  This program would be impossible without you!

July Legislative Update

The 85th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature adjourned on May 29 and the Texas CASA Public Policy team is planning to host three webinars in July (July 6, July 11 and July 13) covering legislative outcomes and the specific impact of legislation on CASA programs and child advocacy.

Several noteworthy pieces of legislation came from the recent session including the following:

  • SB 1705 which prevents children under the age of 18 from marrying unless they have been emancipated by a court.
  • SB7 which ensures that teachers who engage in an inappropriate relationship with a student will lose their teaching certification/license and their taxpayer pension, and punishes administrators, superintendents and principals who turn a blind eye to such misconduct. The bill also requires school districts to adopt a written policy to prevent improper electronic communications between school employees and a student.
  • SB 1806 which requires the use of a multidisciplinary team in all investigations of alleged child sexual abuse or other cases in the jurisdiction of children’s advocacy centers. This includes investigations of child fatalities where there are surviving children in the household or facility. The bill states that forensic interviews should be required unless not appropriate based on the child’s age or development.

For a summary of the outcomes of the recent session click here
Summary of outcomes

You can find the link for the webinar series here
Link for webinar series


25th Anniversary Tiles

YOU can make a difference and leave a lasting impression. We are providing the opportunity for people in our community to purchase a tile, which will be installed on our 25th Anniversary tile wall just inside the entrance to the CAC. The wall celebrates 25 years of “having a heart” for children. It’s a great way to show your support for Child Advocates of Fort Bend, and the children we serve. All tiles will have a heart design created by a volunteer artist. Interested in painting your tile yourself? Talk to us and we’ll make the arrangements. Tiles are available in three sizes – 4 inch, 6 inch and 8 inch priced at $250., $500. and $750. For more information on our commemorative tiles contact Lisa Moore at lmoore@cafb.org

 

 

Commemorative Pavers Available Until September 30th

For our Silver Anniversary in 2016, we introduced our commemorative 25th Anniversary brick paver program. Time is running out to get your anniversary bricks! Bricks will be adorned with our new 25th Anniversary logo, and will come in a special gray color to distinguish them from our existing brick pavers. For $125 you can personalize bricks with your name, or the names of loved ones, and will be placed in either the CASA or CAC walkway leading up to our building. Bricks may contain up to 2 lines of copy and 20 characters per line. Bricks will only be available until September 30th. Show your support for Child Advocates of Fort Bend, and for the children in our community! For more information or to purchase a brick contact Lisa Moore at lmoore@cafb.org


September 24-26: Golf for Greater Houston Golf Tournament

October 10: FRIENDS Fall Membership Coffee
10am until 11:30am
SAVE THE DATE and watch for details

October 19 – 23: Texas CASA Conference in Galveston
Setting Our Course to Improve CASA’s Advocacy for Kids in Care
Register