• Sunday, April 27 – National Blue Sunday, a day when churches across the nation take time in their service to pray for the victims of child abuse and those who rescue them. Visit www.bluesunday.org for more information.
• Tuesday, April 29 – Day of Prayer for victims of child abuse and CACPPC Open House.
Each Go Blue non-profit organization has a unique role in helping victims of child abuse. While each one enters the scene at different points, all work together to give children a voice.
Child Welfare Board, Rainbow Room
When CPS removes a child from a home, this engages the Child Welfare Board and Rainbow Room. Since children are often taken into protective custody only with the clothes they have on, the Rainbow Room is a place where CPS staff can obtain needed brand-new clothes, bedding, toiletries and other needed items for each child.
The Child Welfare Board, a United Way agency, remains active meeting the needs of that child, such as through clothing allotment checks, supporting graduating seniors and providing funds for drug and hair-follicle testing as requested by CPS.
CAC for Palo Pinto County
The new CACPPC exists to help restore the lives of victims of child abuse and their non-offending family members.
It brings, under one roof, local law enforcement investigators, Child Protective Services’ investigators, prosecutors and medical and mental-health professionals, who serve on the CACPPC’s multidisciplinary team.
The team will meet regularly to collaboratively review and track case of allegations of criminal abuse, including sexual, physical and serious neglect.
In addition to helping rebuild the lives of child victims and non-offending family members, MDT members will conduct forensic interviews and work together to build a legal case against alleged perpetrators.
In Texas, out of 40,000 child victims served at a CAC each year, 26 percent were not old enough to attend kindergarten. Statistics show that 33 percent are male and 67 percent female.
Volunteer court-appointed special advocates enter the scene after a child is removed from the home and a court case is filed. CASA community volunteers (also called a guardian ad litem) advocate for the best interest of abused and neglected children in the court system.
To report suspected child abuse, please call the CPS 24-hour hotline at 800-252-5400.
Libby Cluett is the executive director of the Children’s Alliance Center for Palo Pinto County.