Child Advocates of Fort Bend Welcomes New Board Members to Meet Expanding Needs

Photo 2 (L to R) are: Barkley Peschel, Child Advocates of Fort Bend CEO Ruthanne Mefford, Regina Morales and Mark Lapeyrouse. Not shown is Eileen Akerson.

New board members, shown L to R (Photo 1) with Board President Denny Adelung (3rd from right) are:  Dave Johnston, Tom Duffy, Mike Smith, Naushad Kermally and Glen Austin. 

Child Advocates of Fort Bend has elected seven new board members in 2018 and recognizes three board members who have completed their first year of service. “We’ve seen a rapid rise in demand for our services and as we work to enhance and expand our services to meet the growing need, we’re bringing in new talent. These new board members bring a wealth of experience in telecommunications, financial services, law, economic development, real estate, project management, and strategic management,” stated Child Advocates of Fort Bend CEO Ruthanne Mefford.

“We’ve experienced extremely high growth in every one of our services – forensic interviews, therapy, and court appointed advocacy and family services. We are challenged by this influx of children needing help and are experiencing a waitlist for children, calls for round-the-clock availability by our staff and space and capacity constraints,” said Mefford. “The urgent increase in need is attributable to a variety of factors including growth within Fort Bend County, stresses on families, legislation that requires the interviewing of all child victims to be conducted by an accredited Children’s Advocacy Center, generational abuse in families, substance abuse, mental illness and the increase in human trafficking and sexual exploitation of vulnerable children online.”

“Because we anticipate this trend will continue with even further increases in the demand for services, we undertook an extensive study in 2017 to understand the resources we will need going forward. We are working with the Board to develop a Blueprint for Growth for the next decade with expanded services, board, staff, physical plant and resources. We remain committed to doing everything in our power so that we never have to turn a child away.”

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.

For more information on how you can become a voice for children and get involved with Child Advocates of Fort Bend, contact Volunteer Services at 281-344-5172 or or log onto

The agency’s annual Christmas Home Tour raises much needed funds to support its programs for abused and neglected children. The Christmas Home Tour on December 7 + 8 features 5 beautiful private homes in Fort Bend County decorated for Christmas. One ticket allows entry to all five homes during tour hours. More than 1,000 volunteers are needed to help with this event. To become a sponsor or to volunteer or for more information go to or contact Lisa Moore at 281-344-5108 or

Photos courtesy of Child Advocates of Fort Bend