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

Watch the video below to hear a message from Ruthanne





Donor Spotlight:  The George Foundation 

Our agency is extremely grateful to The George Foundation for their support and funding which have enabled us to remain open during these challenging times and allowed us to continue to serve our children and families in Fort Bend County.

Their generosity has been critical to ensuring that we did not have a disruption in our therapy services for children who are served by our Children’s Advocacy Center. Therapy services are critical to children who have experienced trauma, particularly now when children are socially isolated at home and extremely vulnerable. We desperately needed updated technology to continue our work during this pandemic and they helped to fund it.

Our ability to utilize distance counseling has been instrumental in ensuring our children are safe during this time and can continue healing with their therapists remotely. ZOOM has allowed us to be creative in how we develop advocacy plans for children and youth and encourage more opportunities for advocates to have contact with children. We continue to offer training and presentations to reach our volunteers, schools and communities. With April being Child Abuse Prevention month, we were worried about not being able to reach our community to express the importance of keeping children safe, but we were able to use Zoom and special technology programs to create a Virtual Light of Hope kickoff and provide virtual “talks” each week to reach thousands of viewers. Through our updated technology we have been able to keep prevention and awareness at the forefront of our agency. We have also been able to continue training and providing continuing education opportunities in Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) utilizing our new virtual platform. And who would have ever thought we would be testifying and making recommendations about children’s best interest in virtual court hearings?

We have been challenged in the last several years by natural disasters, temporary offices and now a global pandemic. Throughout it all, we have been blessed by the incredible support of The George Foundation. Together, we are truly making a difference.

From everyone at Child Advocates of Fort Bend … THANK YOU!

(photo: Roger Adamson, CEO of The George Foundation with Ruthanne at the Grand Opening of the new Davis George Campus)


Psssttt. . . Take a Look “Behind the Scenes” at Child Advocates of Fort Bend!

In this unprecedented time, children need us more than ever. We know that in times of stress and crisis and with children being socially isolated and not in school, the incidence of abuse has increased. Because they need us…we need YOU.

Please help us share the mission of Child Advocates of Fort Bend by becoming an Ambassador and hosting a Voices For Children “Behind the Scenes” Tour via ZOOM. You and your guests can sit on the couch, patio or in your most comfortable spot (in your most comfortable clothes!) and take a walk through our agency, hear stories and statistics, and most importantly gain awareness about the work of Child Advocates of Fort Bend.  Call your family, friends, colleagues; your book club, your bible study group, your happy hour crowd – near and far – and set a date!

Contact Dana Mersiovsky at or 281.344.7253 to schedule or learn more.

Watch the message below to hear from Kristy Gutierrez, Manager of Forensic Interviewing:

Programs Update

Our Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) has continued to provide in-person and family advocacy services for children at this time. As Kristy mentioned in her video, reports of child abuse are down, however, we are seeing some very severe cases which are complex and involve multiple children. In fact, several CAC staff members came in at midnight recently and stayed until 6am to interview children in a very tragic case. Following an incident, DFPS and Law Enforcement were called to a home with six children ranging in age from 5-16. Two of the children had burns on their bodies so all of the children needed to be interviewed to determine their safety. After telling many different scenarios, one of the children with burns, gathered the courage to tell what had really happened. The children were placed with a relative and were later removed by DFPS when it was determined that they were no longer safe in their home. This was only one of several severe physical abuse cases we have seen.

At the same time, we have seen a decrease in sexual abuse reports. This is very concerning because we know that children are still being sexually abused but do not have access to people to tell. In general, children who are sexually abused usually rely on professionals like school personnel or medical professions to talk about what is happening and because of the isolation brought on by COVID-19, they do not have access to those people.

Beginning today, all CAFB staff will begin phasing back into the office. Safety measures remain in place to protect staff, partners, children and families. CAC Clinical Family Advocates continue to meet with families to provide crisis intervention and connect them with resources related to COVID-19 as well as resources to help children heal. Therapists will begin seeing clients in person this morning and will continue to engage in distance therapy when appropriate. If you haven’t checked out the Therapist’s Corner blog on our website yet, please do as our skilled therapists are sharing helpful tips and information.  Read Lauren Klosterboer’s recent post on play therapy here.

CASA Staff and Advocates have been busy keeping kids connected and attending court hearings via Zoom. Our team continues to innovate and lead. We are the only CASA program in the state that has integrated Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) into our Collaborative Family Engagement (CFE) program and our team has been sharing tips and resources with other CASA programs in the CFE network as to how we have done it. Additionally, CASA staff implemented impact surveys to get feedback from children and families as to how COVID-19 has impacted them. When the surveys indicated that Residential Treatment Centers had high needs since the youth have no outside activities, TBRI Practitioner and WINGS Team Lead Aly Ferrante went into action and designed a TBRI toolkit with activities and instructions to keep youth engaged and help the staff connect with them. Our Infant and Toddler team are sending at least one resource a day to the Advocates to help them better serve the children and families.

These transitional times are especially difficult for the children we serve but our wonderful CASA Advocates are doing everything they can to help ease the stress for these children.
For seven years, CASA Advocate Kathy Brauen has been the only consistent person in the life of an 11-year-old girl who came into care, along with four siblings ranging in age from 6 months to 9 years of age. The children’s mother had substance abuse issues and had left the children alone in a motel for an unknown period. Although her siblings were placed with paternal relatives, no family members stepped in to care for this young girl. She has suffered significant trauma over the years dealing with past abuse from her mother as well as placement changes that have occurred because caregivers were unable to help her work through her trauma. She has been living in a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and has been hospitalized on two occasions recently due to self-harming behavior. It is believed the young girl was stressed because she had no outlet from the RTC due to the stay at home orders from COVID 19. As a result, CASA Advocate Kathy Brauen recently advocated for a placement change because she felt the RTC placement was not meeting her needs. With the help of our Collaborative Family Engagement program, CASA has built an extended support network for this young girl, including current and former educators. Kathy advocated for the girl to be placed with one of her teachers and the Judge approved the placement change. The girl is now in a nurturing home environment and is finally able to get the support she needs.

A new way of celebrating achievements
Within her first days in the new home, the family held a welcome parade for this young girl and many family members, friends and her CASA Advocate were able to celebrate her new home, while still practicing social distancing.

We need your help now more than ever.
We remain grateful to our wonderful volunteers, partners and donors as we continue to focus on the children and adapt to the challenges we now face.


Community Engagement

COVID-19 isn’t stopping our Community Engagement Team from engaging the community. They’re busier than ever, reaching out virtually via all our social channels. Tuesdays at 2pm segments continue to shine the light on our team and our partners and provide useful information to all who watch them.  May segments included being a foster parent with staff member Alli Waterwall and her mom, internet crimes and safety for children with our partners in the District Attorney’s Office and Sheriff’s Office and resilience in children with Dr. Sue Profilet. On May 21, we even held a session for Spanish Speakers hosted by staff members Brenda Ramirez, Elena Petre and Rose Rodriguez. June topics include positive parenting, furry friends in the CAC playroom, male role models for children, and PTSD awareness and facts. Make sure to tune into our Facebook page and join us live on Tuesdays at 2pm!

Drip Learning has Launched

What is it, you ask? It consists of text messages with content that volunteers can access with continuing education and resources. Each text “drip” allows volunteers to get approximately 5 minutes of continuing education when they click on the content. The content includes articles, podcasts and other online resources. Volunteers can get up to 10 Continuing Education hours a year just by reading these texts. If you have questions or want more information about drip learning, contact Casey Davis at



In these challenging times, our Gala has changed to allow us to continue to transform the lives of the children who need us!

We’ve made some changes to our Gala and combined some things from our Voices for Children Breakfast and are busy planning a Transforming Lives Summer Soiree on August 22, 2020 from 7pm-10pm at our new Davis George Campus at 5403 Avenue N in Rosenberg. The evening events will include a live and silent auction, wine & restaurant pulls, raffle, music and more. For information on sponsorships or attendance contact Lisa Moore at

How can you help?

FRIENDS of Child Advocates of Fort Bend participate in the Wine Pull at the Gala every year by securing wine for the pull and staffing the station. Please consider donating a bottle of wine valued at $30 or more for this event. The funds generated from the wine pull can provide a Forensic Interview for one child ($100) or provide the supplies for a Care Package for one college student during mid-terms or final exams ($40). Contact Pat Somers at to coordinate.

In addition to the Wine Pull, our Summer Soiree will have a Restaurant Pull.

For $50 guests will be able to draw a mystery box for a gift card to a local restaurant valued from $50-$250. CAFB is asking people to purchase gift cards from area restaurants to support local businesses and donate them to us to use in our restaurant pull to generate needed funding for our agency. Pat and Brad Somers have issued a “Challenge Match” for $1000 and Jim McClellan has doubled it for another $1000 and Tom and Kyle Duffy have added another $1,000.  The first $1000 in gift cards donated will be matched by the Somers and by Jim McClellan and the Duffys – effectively quadrupling your donation. It’s a win – win – win – WIN! If you would like to help us reach our goal of 200 restaurant gift cards, contact Vickie Looney at to coordinate.

Every dollar helps.

In fact $10,000 provides therapy for 5 children for 6 months; $5,000 provides court advocacy services for 3 children in foster care; $2,500 provides all-encompassing care of a child for up to 18 months; $1,000 provides therapy services to an abused or neglected child for 3 months; $500 provides recruitment and training for one CASA Advocate; $250 provides advocacy and support services to one child and her family for 6 months; $100 provides a forensic interview for one child; and even $50 can provides life skills training for 1 aging out foster youth. 

Please consider sponsoring or supporting this event!




Mark your calendar!

June 2, 2020 Tuesdays at 2pm on Facebook Live
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June 9, 2020 Tuesdays at 2pm on Facebook Live
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June 16, 2020 Tuesdays at 2pm on Facebook Live
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June 23, 2020 Tuesdays at 2pm on Facebook Live
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June 30, 2020 Tuesdays at 2pm on Facebook Live
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August 22, 2020 Transforming Lives Summer Soiree
7pm until 10pm
at Child Advocates of Fort Bend’s NEW Davis George Campus
5403 Avenue N, Rosenberg, TX 77471

December 11-12, 2020 Christmas Home Tour

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