Tarrant County has once again received a ranking among the top in Texas, but it’s not an opportunity for bragging rights.
A report from Texas Department of Family and Protective Services reveals Tarrant County as No. 2 statewide in the number of confirmed child abuse cases, with an increase from 6,097 in 2014 to 6,123 last year. During the same period, the number of child fatalities increased from 11 to 16.
Thanks to the acumen and generosity of emerging local philanthropists, work is already underway to bring those figures down. Members of WORTH: The Next Generation of Philanthropists recently awarded $25,000 to two local nonprofits benefiting victims of child abuse and prevention.
WORTH is a program of the North Texas Community Foundation that trains young donors on smart charitable giving. In its inaugural year, 63 members joined. Participants designated child abuse as the group’s priority issue for 2016 and engaged in a collaborative grant process to help two local nonprofits deliver services to children more effectively.
CASA of Tarrant County received $15,000 for conversion to web-based software and tablets that will make front line staff more efficient and volunteers more effective. CASA reduces the risk of further abuse, neglect, and maltreatment of children who have already suffered abuse or neglect and are in the care of relatives or foster care. The organization’s volunteers serve as the eyes and ears for judges in learning about specific needs and best outcomes for abused children. They gather information about a child’s life and use it to make recommendations. The new resource will enable CASA to improve services to abused children in foster care.
First3Years was awarded $10,000 by WORTH members to fund a pilot program. It addresses the urgent needs of maltreated infants and toddlers through developing a co-parenting alliance between birth and foster parents.
To learn more about child maltreatment and key solutions, visit NorthTexasCF.org and download the new Growing Up in North Texas assessment on child well-being.