Will You Be a Champion for a Child?

April 2, 2010

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. It’s the time of year we’re asked to think about the work that some people do all year, helping families at risk of abuse and neglect and helping children heal from the trauma of abuse. That means it’s the time of year for me to talk about The Parenting Center in Fort Worth, Texas.

Child abuse prevention isn’t very glamorous. Working with children who are victims of abuse is tough, demanding, draining work. People don’t want to think about that. This makes it really challenging to come up with a way to ask for donations. But I still want to ask you – will you be a champion for a child?

I have been a supporter of The Parenting Center since 2007, when I joined a committee and began donating to the organization. I joined the board of directors in 2009 so I see in detail the good work done by the counselors and educators and case managers at The Parenting Center. I’m happy to support their work.

The Parenting Center was established in 1975 to stand against growing rates of child abuse and neglect. The agency enjoys an excellent reputation in the region for its programs in education, counseling, and mentorship of young mothers.

Programs to prevent child abuse and neglect have a rough ride. When they shine a light and increase public awareness, the number of reported cases increases. This leads some people to think the programs aren’t doing any good. The sad truth is that the rate of child abuse and neglect is higher than the number of reported cases. Child abuse and neglect will never be eliminated. But awareness and prevention programs help bring the problem out in the open so child victims are identified and protected. The Parenting Center’s programs help parents learn how to meet their children’s needs so they don’t neglect them, they give parents skills and techniques to use when they get frustrated instead of lashing out, and they support healing for victims of abuse.

State funding of prevention programs is decreasing. Private foundations hit by the economic downturn have drastically cut their contributions to social service agencies. Partner agencies are decreasing their funding of programs to prevent child abuse and neglect. These aren’t glamorous causes because they can never be solved “once and for all.” The agency is relying more than ever before on individual contributions to help fund its programs.

It’s a great time for The Parenting Center in terms of the programs and services they are offering the community. But it’s a very hard time economically. I hope you are moved to do the unglamorous thing and take a stand against child abuse and neglect.

I have a specific request. Many counseling clients at The Parenting Center are on a sliding scale, paying only what they can. Client fees cover less than half the program’s expenses. Grants and donations make up the difference, and grant funds are dwindling. A donation of $50 can underwrite one counseling session.

Will you donate $50 to The Parenting Center to help the counseling program serve children?

Since I worked as a child and family therapist I know how important it is for families in turmoil to have professional, compassionate guidance. It makes all the difference in the world. The Parenting Center offers family counseling, individual counseling, and play therapy. Play therapists are specifically trained to work with very young children to help them understand and express their feelings and gain self-control. I’ve been trained in play therapy and conducted hundreds of sessions so I’m an enthusiastic advocate. I know it’s powerful mojo.

In April The Parenting Center kicks off its annual Mother’s Day/Father’s Day campaign. You can make your donation in honor or in memory of your parents or grandparents to thank them for the love and support they gave you, while helping other families learn how to give love and support to their children. Include the information when you donate to The Parenting Center by April 30 and your gift will be listed in the June issue of Fort Worth, Texas: The City’s Magazine.

Click here to donate online. If you prefer to send a check, click here for the Fort Worth mailing address and phone number. You are also welcome to send me an e-mail at Steve@SteveCoxsey.com and let me know you’re interested in donating. I can send you one of the Mother’s Day/Father’s Day campaign cards with a reply envelope.

Please be a champion for a child…

*Edited 04/03/10 to include information on mailing in donations


One Response to “Will You Be a Champion for a Child?”

  1. Tweets that mention Will You Be a Champion for a Child? : The Twisting Road -- Topsy.com on April 2nd, 2010 9:26 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Steve Coxsey, Deanna Canada. Deanna Canada said: RT @stevecoxsey: April is National Child Abuse Prevention month. Will you be a champion for a child? http://tinyurl.com/yjy22om […]

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