4 New CASA Advocates

New CASA Advocates

New CASA Advocates – Summer 2019

Four local people recently completed training and were sworn-in to become volunteer CASA advocates for children in foster care.  The Honorable Judge Lauri Blake of the 336th District Court administered the oath to the new volunteers.  New child advocates include Wayne Adams, Michelle Case, Lauren Hilliard and Lori Parsons.

“We thrilled to welcome these people to our team,” said Sandy Barber with the Fannin County Children’s Center, which includes the local CASA program. “This helps get us closer to having an advocate for every child in foster care from Fannin County.”

In the year ending August 31, 2018, CASA served 131 children, which set a new record for the number of children served in a year.  In the first 10 months of the current fiscal year, 102 children have already been served.  More volunteers advocates are still needed in order for every child in foster care from Fannin County to have one.  Another training class is already being planned to start September 10.

All volunteers completed an intensive training class which prepares them to serve as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for children who have been removed from their home due to abuse and neglect.  The district judge appoints CASA volunteers to serve as the Guardian ad Litem for each child who has been placed in the state’s custody.  In that role, CASA advocates investigate the child’s situation, prepare written reports to the court and advocate for the child’s best interest in court hearings and other settings.

CASA is one program of several programs for abused and neglected children that are operated by the Fannin County Children’s Center.  For more information call (903) 583-4339 or visit www.fanninccc.org.

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School Supplies Needed

Staff and volunteers at the Fannin County Children’s Center are already making plans for their 23rd annual School Supply Drive.  Students in Fannin County will head back to class starting as early as August 14.

This year, there are several new and different aspects of the Children’s Center’s School Supply Drive. New this year is that the give-away day is on a Saturday and will only be on one day.  Something that has not changed is that the drive is open to all needy kids in Fannin County.  Families in need can come to the Children’s Center at 112 W. 5th in Bonham on Saturday, August 10 from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm to sign up and receive supplies.  Parents or other caregivers should bring the child’s social security card and some proof of need, such as Medicaid card, food stamps or paycheck stub.

Another new twist to the event, is that there will be other vendors, organizations and volunteers set up outside of the center on Saturday, August 10.  There will be free haircuts, free diapers and many other items and services available for those families getting school supplies.

One thing that has not changed is that the Children’s Center will need the generosity and support of the local community to make this effort possible.  “As always, every contribution is appreciated and needed” said Sandy Barber, Executive Director of the Children’s Center. The center is now accepting paper, notebooks, pencils, folders and other school supplies on the local school supply lists.  Barber said, “Donors can also donate cash and leave the shopping to us.  We will use it to buy what is most needed and we will stretch the donation farther by using our tax-exempt status when making the purchases.”

In all, the agency has given out free school supplies to more than 10,00 students in the last 22 years.  Organizers expect to serve 500-700 students again this year.  This effort depends on contributions from many different individuals, churches, businesses and other local organizations.

Items needed include: notebook paper, pens, pencils, three-ring notebooks, folders with and without brads, spiral notebooks, rulers, scissors, markers, crayons, red pens and pencils, highlighters, glue sticks and bottles, erasers, backpacks, construction paper, manilla paper, pencil boxes and bags and other supplies from area lists.

Contributions can be delivered to the center at 112 West Fifth Street, Bonham, TX anytime they are open from Monday – Friday 8 am to 5 pm.  Checks can be made out to FCCC and should include a brief notation that the gift is for school supplies.

Donations can also be made on-line DONATE NOW

All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law.  Organizers request that contributions arrive by August 2 or earlier if at all possible to allow time for organization and preparations.

For more information, call (903) 583-4339 or click here

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Volunteers Needed!

The Fannin County Children’s Center is looking for a few good men and women who are willing to volunteer to help children from hard places. There will be an informational session on Tuesday, May 14 from 5:30 – 6:30 pm at the center at 112 West Fifth Street in Bonham. Community Development Director Andrea Lappin and CASA Program Director Amanda McDonald will present information about all the volunteer opportunities available at the center, as well as information about the application process and training requirements. Attendance at the information session is not a requirement to become a volunteer, however, it is a helpful step to learning more about what it takes to be a volunteer. Attending the session will also not obligate anyone to become a volunteer.

CASA, which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates, is one of several programs offered by the Children’s Center for the benefit of abused and neglected children. CASA is seeking adult volunteers who can complete training and pass background checks to be appointed by the 336th District Court to serve as Guardian ad Litem for children in foster care.

In that role, CASA volunteers regularly visit their assigned child or sibling group and gather information from parents, other family, teachers, medical personnel, therapists and others in order to make recommendations to the court on what will be in the child’s best interest. They prepare court reports and testify at court hearings too.

The Children’s Advocacy Center is another program of the Children’s Center. Volunteers are needed to provide child care while parents and siblings are in groups and to sit with families who are at the center for interviews or counseling. Other volunteers are needed for tasks not directly working with children, such as organizing clothes in the Rainbow Room, preparing newsletters for mailing, getting school supplies ready to give away and other office jobs.

The next training sessions for CASA volunteers will start on June 11. Participants will gain knowledge and learn skills needed to become an advocate for abused children in foster care. Participants will also be reading and completing activities on their own time. At least 2 hours of court room observation will also be required. All who successfully complete the training will take the CASA oath in the Fannin County District Courtroom.

Applications are now being accepted for both CASA and CAC volunteers. For more information, attend the volunteer information session on May 14 and/or call (903) 583-4339.

 

 

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5 New CASA Advocates!

CASA Vol Spring 2019Five local people recently completed training and were sworn-in to become volunteer CASA advocates for children in foster care. The Honorable Judge Lauri Blake of the 336th District Court administered the oath to the new volunteers. New child advocates include Ashlyn Hoops, Jackie Schrodel, Rosemary Clemons, Susan Mattison and Richard Mattison.

“We excited to welcome these people to our team,” said Sandy Barber with the Fannin County Children’s Center, which includes the local CASA program. “This helps get us closer to having an advocate for every child in foster care from Fannin County.”

In the year ending August 31, 2018, CASA served 131 children, which set a new record for the number of children served in a year. More volunteers advocates are still needed in order for every child in foster care from Fannin County to have one. Another training class is already being planned for June.

All volunteers completed an intensive training class which prepares them to serve as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for children who have been removed from their home due to abuse and neglect. The district judge appoints CASA volunteers to serve as the Guardian ad Litem for each child who has been placed in the state’s custody. In that role, CASA advocates investigate the child’s situation, prepare written reports to the court and advocate for the child’s best interest in court hearings and other settings.

CASA is one program of several programs for abused and neglected children that are operated by the Fannin County Children’s Center. More info

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Child Abuse Awareness Month

April is Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month. The Fannin County Children’s Center has several activities planned for this month.

April 5 is Go Blue Day in Texas. It is a day to wear blue in honor and memory of child abuse victims. The Children’s Center encourages schools, businesses, other organizations and individuals to wear blue, snap photos, post them on social media and share them with the center too. Photos can be sent to sandy@fanninccc.org or the Children’s Center can be tagged in posts. Suggested hashtags for the day include #GoBlueDay and #NoExcuseForChildAbuse.

On April 9, the Fannin County Commissioners are scheduled to pass a proclamation at their regular weekly meeting, declaring April to be Child Abuse Awareness month for Fannin County.

The Children’s Center will be offering free education classes in April too. On April 11, the “Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse” class will be held from 5:30 – 7:00 pm at the center. As the class name implies, this class will teach adults how to spot signs of all types of child abuse and how to respond appropriately. On April 25, the “Stewards of Children” class will be held from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at the center. This class will teach adults proactive steps to take to prevent child sexual abuse. Both classes are free and require reservations. More information about the classes and reservations can be made at www.fanninccc.org. Both classes will be held at the center at 112 W 5th in Bonham.

April 28 is Blue Sunday. This is a day when faith communities across the nation will say prayers for children who have been abused and neglected as well as for the professionals and volunteers who are working to stop abuse and help victims recover.

The Children’s Center encourages local schools, businesses and other organizations to post the slogan “No Excuse for Child Abuse” on their marque signs. The Center also has yard signs and blue t-shirts for sale.

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Blue Shirts on Sale!

Go Blue Day in Texas is Friday, April 5, 2019. This is a day that people across the state of Texas will be wearing blue in honor and memory of child abuse victims.

The Fannin County Children’s Center has designed a new blue shirt for Go Blue Day and Child Abuse Awareness Month in April 2019. This year’s shirts are still in royal blue with white writing. The front design is a collections of words in the shape of the state of Texas. The words include the programs and values of the Children’s Center, as well as other words used often at the center, such as “hope,” “courage” and the center’s facility dog “Render.” The Children’s Center logo is on the back of the shirt.

Shirts can be ordered and paid for on-line at specialtsprinting.com/fannincountychildrenscenter.

Orders must be placed by March 26 in order to guarantee a 2019 design shirt in time for Go Blue Day on April 5, 2019. When ordering, there will be an option for free pick up at the Children’s Center after April 2 or pay extra to have the order shipped.

Short sleeve shirts are available in youth and adult sizes for $10 each. New this year, there will also be options for long sleeve shirts for $12 and hoodies for $20. Shirts in sizes 2XL and 3XL will be $2 more and 4XL and up will be $3 more.

A limited number of short sleeve shirts from previous years are still in stock at the center for $10 each. Please call (903) 583-4339 or stop by the center to inquire about designs and sizes of shirts available.

“On Go Blue Day, we hope to once again see lots of photos on social media with people wearing blue in support of victims of child abuse,” said Sandy Barber with the Children’s Center. “Whether they are wearing our shirts or not, we encourage schools, businesses and other organizations to wear blue and take group photos and send them to us so we can share too.”

“Statistics tell us that 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused by their 18th birthday and that many victims wait to tell,” said Barber. “When we wear blue on April 5, we will be sending a message of support to both the victims who have found the courage to tell, as well as the ones who are still silently bearing the trauma of abuse.”

The Fannin County Children’s Center’s mission is promoting safety and improving the lives of abused and neglected children. The agency’s programs include CASA, Children’s Advocacy Center and child abuse prevention classes.

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Art Contest Winners!

2019 First PlaceFourteen year old Jocelyn Garoutte of Leonard took home the top prize in the Open Your Heart Art Contest sponsored by the Fannin County Children’s Center. She won $100 for her artwork that will now be featured on the front of the Open Your Heart campaign cards. Eleven year old Kailynn Pearson of Bonham won second place and $50. Her artwork will be featured on the inside of the cards.

The winning artwork will be featured in upcoming fundraising campaign for the Children’s Center. Funds raised will support all services provided by the center, including CASA, Children’s Advocacy Center and child abuse prevention efforts. As a non-profit, the center relies on grants and donations to be able to offer their services for no cost to victims of child abuse and neglect.

CASA recruits, screens, trains and supervises volunteer advocates for children in foster care. Children’s Advocacy Center facilitates a multidisciplinary team of public and private agencies involved in the investigation, prosecution and treatment of child abuse. Child abuse prevention efforts include classes are offered for children, youth and adults.

2019 Second Place

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Kids Art Contest

The Fannin County Children’s Center is seeking children’s artwork for their annual contest. Children and youth ages 18 and under are invited to enter their work of art for a chance to win prizes and help other children.

“Our contest judges will be looking for artwork that illustrates the theme “Open Your Heart,” said Sandy Barber, Executive Director of the Children’s Center. “They will be looking for something that is eye catching and heart-warming. Winning entries in the past have often included hearts, kids, families and bright, cheerful colors.”

Two winning entries will win special ribbons and cash prizes. The winning artwork will be reproduced on cards to help the agency raise funds to provide advocacy, counseling and other critical support services for the abused and neglected children of Fannin County.

The winning artist will receive a $100 cash, a blue ribbon and their artwork will be reproduced on the front of the campaign card. Second place will win a $50 cash, a red ribbon and have their artwork included inside of the card.

Artwork must be turned in by 5 pm on Friday, February 22 at the Children’s Center at 112 West Fifth in Bonham. An entry form must be completed and attached to the back of the artwork.

Art Contest Rules & Entry Form

more info

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Kwik Chek and McCraw Oil

Kwik Chek and McCraw Oil recently presented a check for $14,000 to their local CASA program, the Fannin County Children’s Center.  In all, leaders of Kwik Chek and McCraw Oil will be presenting checks totaling $56,000 to local CASA programs across the state where they do business.

“The McCraw Oil and Kwik Chek teams have long had a passion for supporting the health and well-being of children in the communities where we live and work,” said Bill Wilson, President of McCraw Oil.

This year marks the eleventh year in a row that the company’s annual golf tournament has benefitted CASA.  In those 11 years, a grand total of $560,000 has been raised.

“We are honored and blessed to benefit from our partnership with Kwik Chek and McCraw Oil,” said Children’s Center Executive Director Sandy Barber.  “Their gifts from the golf tournament, their sponsorship of our events and their volunteer efforts all add up to good things for some of the most vulnerable kids and families in our community.”

The Children’s Center’s mission is promoting safety and improving the lives of abused and neglected children.  Programs include CASA, Children’s Advocacy Center and child abuse prevention.    Kwik Chek Jan 2019

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Exxon Mobil

ExxonMobil 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McCraw Oil President Bill Wilson (center) presents a check for $2,000 from ExxonMobil for the Children’s Center to Board President Brenda Magness (right) and Executive Director Sandy Barber (left).   “We are honored to benefit from ExxonMobil’s generosity again this year,” said Barber. “This gift will provide counseling, advocacy, forensic interviews and many other support services to help children recover from the trauma of abuse and neglect.”  The Children’s Center’s programs include CASA, Children’s Advocacy Center and child abuse prevention programs.

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