Newsletter

Greetings,

We send greetings to our wonderful volunteers who ALL have huge hearts for the children you serve.  We were thrilled to see so many of you at our annual Volunteer Banquet a few weeks ago where we recognized and awarded you for doing the selfless, life-changing work that you do every day.  We are already off to a very busy year with a new class of volunteers trained and sworn in on Feb 21, Friends Martini Night on March 28, plans underway for April Child Abuse Prevention Month,  hosting tours of our building for our newly-elected judges and our annual Gala For The Children on May 4 – Up, Up and Away.    Looking forward to seeing all of you at these events!

For the Children’s Sake,

Ruthanne Mefford
CEO, Child Advocates of Fort Bend


Niagara Cares About Children!

Special thanks to Niagara Cares for its support of our N.E.S.T. and WINGS programs for aging-out foster youth. This is a new partnership for CAFB, and we are very grateful to have received generous grant support of $10,000 which will go a long way in helping these school-aged youth stay connected, engaged and on a path to success.

 

Pat Somers – We Celebrate YOU!

The VOICES FOR CHILDREN team recently celebrated Pat Somers, for her long time dedication to the VOICES FOR CHILDREN Committee. Pat has been a volunteer with CAFB for 28 years, serving in many roles – current Board President, VFC Circle member, CASA, CHT Host and House Captain, Friends Council and the list goes on and on. Pat has chaired the VOICES FOR CHILDREN Team since its inception 9 years ago, so it was very fitting to present her with a VOICES FOR CHILDREN plaque signed by the team at our recent VFC Benevon training.  Thank you Pat, for your dedication, compassion and commitment to Child Advocates of Fort Bend!

 We Need Help March 4 + 5!

We need help in our office with a bulk mailing for our upcoming Gala.

Hours are: Monday, March 4th 9:00am – 5:00pm and Tuesday, March 5th 1:30pm – 4:00pm

Please contact Lisa Moore at lmoore@cafb.org if you are able to help.

Any amount of time you can give is greatly appreciated.

5403 Avenue N – Rosenberg 77471

Please come to the Administration Door!


 

Did you Know?

There are a lot of resources available to you as a volunteer. In fact, we have a phenomenal Educational Committee that is ready and willing to assist you with your questions and help you to navigate the educational system. Is your CASA child struggling in school?  Is testing a challenge? Did you know that, as a CASA, you can request full comprehensive evaluation?  For more information on resources that are available to you, contact April at ashaver@cafb.org or Krystal at khughes@cafb.org.

 

Welcome Stafford Municipal School District!

Stafford MSD and Child Advocates of Fort Bend have a new collaboration!  School administrators visited to tour the agency and learn more via an educators training with CAC Director, Fiona Remko. Additionally, Stafford Superintendent, Dr. Robert Bostic recently joined our Children’s Advocacy Center Advisory Council.

CAC Day at the Capitol

When the 85th Texas Legislative Session began in January, CACTX invited local CAC leadership to Austin for Capitol Day. A team of staff, board and volunteers from Child Advocates of Fort Bend participated not only in Capitol Day but in the high capacity roundtable discussions, which took place on January 28. Eleven agencies making up 48% of current Texas cases were in attendance. Groups were divided into teams for discussions on Staff Capacity and Development, MDT Partner Relations and HIPAA Implementation. Each agency learned of practice and protocols of their sister agencies to learn and grow from each other.

The following day, the CAFB team met with seven Senators and Representatives to talk to them about the need for a $12 million increase in funding. Our team was well received and has paved the way to communicate as bills are filed.

Representing Fort Bend County were Ruthanne Mefford, Pat Somers, Fiona Remko, Carolina Coronel, Jim Lockwood, Sue Lockwood, Kristy Gutierrez, Emily Goodfriend, Farha Ahmed and Rhonda Kuykendall.

 

CASA Day at the Capitol

CASA Day at the Capitol is the day advocates join together, in a shared voice, to advocate for Texas children! Hundreds of CASA advocates from all over the state filled the State Capitol to share their personal stories of advocacy and discussed legislation that impacts the lives of children. On February 5th, a team of staff, volunteers and board members gathered in Austin to participate. The group divided into teams and met with staff from the offices of Sen. Joan Huffman, Sen Boris Miles, Rep. Rick Miller, Rep. Paul Stephenson and Rep. John Zerwas to talk about our mission, the work that we do and our needs.

Participants included Ruthanne Mefford, Dave Johnston, Betty Baitland, Pat Somers, Metoyer Martin, Krystal Vann, April Shaver, Leroy Hodge, Aly Ferrante, and Rhonda Kuykendall.

What is the Legislative Advocacy Team?

Legislative Advocacy Teams (LATs) work with Texas CASA and their local CASA programs to build relationships with legislators, develop policy agendas to improve the child welfare system in partnership with Texas CASA and motivate and empower others in their program to advocate for those improvements. LATs are led by volunteer advocates and/or board members, and work with staff liaisons in each CASA program.

Are you interested in helping and working with our Legislative Advocacy Team? Please contact Dave at djohns7959@aol.com and Rhonda at rhondakuy@comcast.net.

LAT Champions

Child Advocates of Fort Bend’s Legislative Advocacy Team is building a network of community activists called LAT Champions. These individuals will receive weekly emails throughout the legislative session detailing upcoming legislation, the background as to why this legislation is needed, a list of the legislators involved and detailed instructions on how to email the legislators. We’ll make it really easy for you. In fact, all we need for you to do is send emails to the legislators that say “I support this bill.” If you are willing to help with this effort, contact Dave at djohns7959@aol.com and Rhonda at rhondakuy@comcast.net to join our team of LAT Champions.

Legislative Priorities and the Bills

We look forward to working with you to make this a productive session for the children of Fort Bend County.
Wondering what the priories and the bills are?

Our 2019 legislative priorities are:

  • Funding
  • Keeping children in foster care closer to home
  • Continue DFPS funding for the Collaborative Family Engagement (CFE) Program
  • Improve services for youth transitioning out of foster care
  • Support efforts to develop better services and support for children, parents and families dealing with substance use and abuse or mental health issues
  • Promote systemic understanding of trauma and the use of trauma-informed care throughout all stages and roles in the child protection system

The Bills:
HB72 – authored by Rep. White
Related to the Continuation of Medicaid benefits provided to certain children adopted from the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services. This bill was heard in the Human Services Committee on February 26, 2019.

HB123 – authored by Rep. White, Rep. Klick, Rep. Miller, Rep. Minjarez and Rep. Rose
Related to the issuance of personal identification documents for foster children, homeless children or youth and unaccompanied youth. This bill was heard favorably by the Human Services Committee on February 19, 2019 and was left pending in committee.

HB811/SB424 – authored by Rep. White
Related to determining appropriate disciplinary action to be taken against a public school student who is in foster care or who is homeless.

HB987/SB481 – authored by Rep. White
Related to personal identification documents for foster children or youth, homeless children or youth, and unaccompanied youth.

SB424/HB811 – authored by Sen. West
Related to determining appropriate disciplinary action to be taken against a public school student who is in foster care or who is homeless. This been has been received by the Secretary of State.

SB481/HB987 – authored by Rep. Watson
Related to personal identification documents for foster children or youth, homeless children or youth, and unaccompanied youth. This bill has been received by the Secretary of the Senate.

If you have questions about legislative advocacy or would like to learn more about the bills or how to get involved, please contact Dave at djohns7959@aol.com and Rhonda at rhondakuy@comcast.net.

 

 

Up Up And Away Gala

Save the Date for our 19th Annual Gala for the Children. This year’s event on May 4th at the Sugar Land Marriott Town Square is themed Up, Up and Away. https://www.cafb.org/events/gala/basic-gala-facts/

Please join us for a lively and festive evening of bright colors, sky high dreams and lots of fun. Included in the evening are live music, delicious dinner, silent and live auction, wine and jewelry pulls and a raffle. Approximately 600 guests attend this event every year. This is one of those events you don’t want to miss!

We are currently accepting sponsorships and auction donations. If you’re interested or have any questions contact Lisa at Lmoore@cafb.org.

 

FRIENDS Mission & Martinis

FRIENDS of Child Advocates of Fort Bend is hosting their annual Mission and Martini’s membership social on Thursday, March 28th 6pm-8pm in a private home in Harvest Green. All are welcome to say hello and hear about the amazing things the FRIENDS group provides for the children served by CAFB. If you would like to attend or receive more information about what a $40 membership entails, please contact Kristin Stiles-Janossy at kristin.janossy@gmail.com.

 

Texas Music Festival

Scotty’s Saloon at The Old Trading Post has teamed up with Budweiser to host the Texas Music Festival April 13th and 14th. Child Advocates of Fort Bend is one of the beneficiaries of proceeds from this two-day event. With over 15 live bands scheduled, food, beverages and activities, this is set to be a festival like no other. Listen to KILT and 93Q radio for promotions about this event.

Scotty’s Saloon – 9903 FM 2759 Rd – Richmond TX 77469

Event times: April 13th 10am -10pm AND April 14th 10am to 6pm

 

Light of Hope / Pinwheel Project

Join us on Saturday, April 13th from 11am until 3pm for The Pinwheel Project. Hosted by the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office, this annual event is held at Homestead Park at 1422 Eugene Heimann Circle in Richmond – directly across from the Justice Center. This free community event is fun for the whole family. There will be food, games, face painting, music, prize give-aways and more. Child Advocates of Fort Bend will be participating at this event to recognize April as Child Abuse Prevention month. Visit us there to pick up your blue ribbons to tie around neighborhood trees, blue ribbon pins, bracelets and other goodies.

Mark your calendar!
And make plans to join us. . .

 

March 28, 2019  FRIENDS Mission & Martinis
6pm – 8pm

A beautiful home in Harvest Green. For location, details or to RSVP contact Kristin at kristin.janossy@gmail.com

 

April 13, 2019  Light of Hope at the Pinwheel Project
11am – 3pm
Homestead Park
1422 Eugene Heimann Circle, Richmond, TX  

 

April 13 + 14, 2019  Texas Music Festival Presented by Scotty’s Saloon
Benefiting CAFB
(stay tuned for details as they become available)

 

May 4, 2019  Up, Up And Away Gala
Sugar Land Marriott Town Square
6pm

Details, sponsorship and reservations