Fannin County experienced a 25% increase in the number of confirmed victims of child abuse in 2016 as compared to the previous year. According to the Data Books from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, there were 135 alleged victims of child abuse and neglect in Fannin County in the year ending August 31, 2016 and 108 in the year ending August 31, 2015.
The number of children removed from their homes from Fannin County in 2016 was 46. By comparison, the number of children removed in the last five years has tanged from 5 to 20 per year in Fannin County.
The Fannin County Children’s Center has been experiencing a corresponding increase in demand for services.
CASA is one program operated by the Children’s Center that provides trained advocates for children in foster care. In the fiscal year ending August 31, 2016, CASA served 83 children, which was a 50% increase over the previous year when 55 children were served. In the first seven months of the current fiscal year, CASA has already served 96 children.
The Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) is another program operated by the Children’s Center. For many years, the CAC in Fannin County has provided 500-600 counseling sessions per year. During the year ending August 31, 2016, the center added a full-time therapist on staff and the number of counseling sessions provided increased to 789. In the first seven months of the current fiscal year, the CAC has already provided 509 counseling sessions.
The Children’s Center also provides free child abuse prevention training to the community. Upcoming classes include “Stewards of Children” on Tuesday, May 9 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at the center. This class focuses on preventing child sexual abuse, as well as how to identify warning signs and how to respond when child sexual abuse is suspected.
The Children’s Center will also offer a class called “Recognize and Report” on Tuesday, June 6 from 5:30 -7:00 pm at the center. This class focuses on recognizing and reporting all types of child abuse.
Both classes will be held at the center at 112 W. 5th in Bonham. Seating is limited.