To Celebrate April Child Abuse Prevention Month, Child Advocates revamped its “30 Schools in 30 Days” initiative designed to promote child abuse prevention in community schools throughout Fort Bend County. “We developed the curriculum, trained staff to do the presentations and reached out to schools in Fort Bend and Lamar, ISD,” stated Child Advocates of Fort Bend Volunteer Services Team Leader Casey Davis. The result – during the months of April and May, Child Advocates of Fort Bend staff members spoke to more than 15,000 students in 27+ Fort Bend ISD elementary and middle school students and area early childhood centers about signs of child abuse and how to keep themselves safe.
In addition to speaking to elementary and middle school students, Child Advocates of Fort Bend did six presentations to school staff, 2 presentations to parents and 2 presentations to groups of Fort Bend elementary, middle and high school principals about signs of abuse and best practice protocols for reporting abuse.
“We never imagined that we would get such an overwhelmingly positive response that it would require scheduling well into the month of May to accommodate all of the requests for us to come and speak to students,” stated Child Advocates of Fort Bend CEO Ruthanne Mefford. “We are grateful to Superintendent Charles Dupre for helping us reach FBISD students and to all of the teachers, counselors and schools that participated. We hope that we can continue to work with them to keep children safe and let them know that we are here and are a resource for them if they need us.”
Demand for Child Advocates of Fort Bend’s services increased 20% in 2017 and the agency is on track to see a double-digit increase in demand again this year.
Shown L to R at the presentation to Arizona Fleming Elementary School are: Child Advocates of Fort Bend Forensic Interviewer Heather Rashid, Collaborative Family Engagement Coach Jackie Townsend, WINGS Volunteer Supervisor Leroy Hodge, Arizona Fleming Elementary School Counselor Destiny Parker, Arizona Fleming Elementary School Principal Jason Soileau, CASA Program Director Metoyer Martin and Volunteer Services Team Leader Casey Davis. Several volunteers and sixteen of the agency’s 38 staff members participated either as presenters or by helping pass out important information on child abuse prevention to the teachers and students.
About Child Advocates of Fort Bend:
Child Advocates of Fort Bend is a non-profit agency dedicated to ending child abuse by providing a voice, healing the hurt, and breaking the cycle of child abuse in Fort Bend County. Through its Court Appointed Special Advocates Program (CASATM), Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) and more than 200 trained community volunteer advocates, Child Advocates improves the lives of more than 400 children each month and has served more than 14,000 children since opening its doors in 1991.
Photo courtesy of Child Advocates of Fort Bend