Children Safe Harbor receives $50,000 donation from Woodforest Charitable Foundation
Children’s Safe Harbor has recently received a $50,000 donation from Woodforest Charitable Foundation to help children and families who are experiencing trauma from abuse that is further impacted by the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Children’s Safe Harbor’s mission: To achieve justice and healing for every abused child and their family and to engage our community in realizing our mission.
As a nationally-accredited nonprofit children’s advocacy center organization serving Montgomery County, Walker County, and San Jacinto County, Children’s Safe Harbor is part of a nationwide effort to heal the trauma and facilitate justice for children ages 2 through 17 and their families.
The funds received by Woodforest Charitable Foundation are supporting Children’s Safe Harbor’s implementation of tele mental health capabilities given the CDC’s safety guidelines. They have purchased laptops and mobile forensic equipment for staff to work remotely with clients and to continue professional training in new modalities. New therapy materials such as art supplies and workbooks to help children process trauma have also been purchased.
According to Dr. Victoria Constance, Executive Director of Children’s Safe Harbor, teachers are the number one reporters of child abuse across the nation. As schools closed, and families were sheltering in place during the coronavirus pandemic, the need to reach children in unsafe environments hit a critical marker. Public awareness campaigns in April were geared toward educating the community to report suspected abuse to the Texas Hotline: (800) 254-5400.
While reports of suspected abuse were down 40%-60% statewide, the children’s advocacy center provided the following services to children and families between March 16 through May 31:
- a total of 955 hours of mental health services (423 via phone, 360 via tele mental health, and 172 in person);
- 1,078 child abuse reports were reviewed from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services;
- 346 forensic interviews were conducted on site;
- 31 pediatric sexual assault examinations;
- and 210 parents and/or guardians were provided with support and information through their family advocacy department.
“We are extremely grateful for the support we’ve received from Woodforest Charitable Foundation as part of their outreach to assist children and their families during these stressful times,” said Dr. Constance. “Their generous contribution is helping us meet the unexpected demands for our services as families navigated this unprecedented pandemic. We have seen an incredible increase in violence in the cases referred to our children’s advocacy center. These earmarked dollars are going a long way to support our families that are in crisis for multiple reasons.”
If you suspect a child is in immediate danger, call 911 or (800) 252-5400 for the Texas Child Abuse Hotline. For more information and to discover how you can help, visit www.ChildrensSafeHarbor.org.
Pictured from left: Kim Marling, Executive Vice President of Woodforest Charitable Foundation; Victoria Constance, MSPH, Ph.D., Executive Director of Children’s Safe Harbor; Charles Marling, CFO and Treasurer of Woodforest Charitable Foundation.