With April designated as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, Dallas CASA and its President/CEO Kathleen LaValle put its parking lot to use on Monday, April 10, promoting the work undertaken by the Dallas County Child Abuse Prevention Coalition. As guests like Family Compass CEO Ona Foster and Mosaic Family Services Children’s Advocacy Coordinator Brandon Dawson heard from speakers like the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services’ (TDFPS) Mosley Hobson and Johnnae Jones-Cortez, Commissioner Dr. Theresa Daniel, Judge Delia Gonzales and UNT’s Perseverance Until Success Happens’ (PUSH) Beige Cowell, it was a painful reminder of the seven children who died in Dallas this past year due to neglect and abuse. The occasion also promoted the fact that the prevention of child abuse was “everybody’s business.” Here’s a report from the field
The Dallas County Child Abuse Prevention Coalition (CAPCO) and its partners hosted the Dallas County child abuse prevention awareness event Monday, April 10, in the parking lot at Dallas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). The event honored the seven children who lost their lives due to abuse or neglect in 2022 and recognized all child welfare agencies and nonprofits whose workers serve children and families in need.
“The business of child welfare can be quite complex,” said Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS) Disproportionality Manager Mosley Hobson. “It’s a matter of underpaid and overworked staff doing their best to serve Texas families.
“But the prevention of child abuse and neglect is everybody’s business.”
The event’s emcee was Miss Texas Averie Bishop. In-N-Out Burger donated lunch for the event. CAPCO agencies include Dallas CASA, the Dallas County Child Welfare Board, Family Compass, TexProtects and many more. In addition to colleagues from Child Protective Services and the TDFPS, the Dallas Police Department’s Child Abuse Squad and the Dallas District Attorney’s Crimes Against Children Division were also invited to the CAPCO event.
Dallas County Commissioner Dr. Theresa Daniel shared with the crowd that the focus of April’s Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month is truly on prevention. “Let’s get ahead of the curve,” she said.
In Dallas County in 2022, 5,818 children were confirmed victims of child abuse or neglect and 738 children were removed from their homes due to abuse. In Dallas County at the end of 2022, 254 children in protective care were waiting to be adopted.
“We care about what happens to children and families because we don’t want our community to suffer,” said Judge Delia Gonzales of Dallas County’s Child Protection and Permanency Court. “I ask in my court ‘Do we want our children to thrive or survive?’ In my court, the answer is thrive because these children deserve that.”
That evening Dallas downtown buildings were lit blue in recognition of child abuse and neglect.
* Photo provided by Dallas CASA