Advancing advocacy has been an important focus to the Women's Policy Forum's membership. As such, an Advocacy Committee was formed to brainstorm ways that advocacy could be more closely tied to our monthly membership meetings and activities. In our newsletter, you've likely seen advocacy conversations scheduled each month following the monthly speaker. While this was successful, it didn't quite deliver on its intent. As innovative and flexible leaders, we have taken a profound look at the advocacy deep dives and are moving to a new format.
On Thursday, May 19, 2022, the Advocacy Committee will present a moderated advocacy panel featuring policy experts tied to the February, March, April, and May meeting topics. The Advocacy Committee is excited to coordinate this expert panel, and the committee welcomes the participation of all members! Take your membership to the next level and join this committee. To sign up, email Cathy Neece Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org
All members are welcome and are encouraged to join the conversation!
For January's Advocacy Deep Dive we welcomed Shellie Velasco, Chief Program Officer at Alliance For Children. (pictured above)
Alliance for Children (AFC) celebrates 30 years of service to Tarrant County having started in 1992. Their mission is to protect Tarrant County children from abuse through teamed investigations, healing services and community education. Ms. Velasco has served AFC for 14 years.
Alliance For Children has lessened the post-trauma process for children to not have to be interviewed multiple times (which often creates more trauma.) AFC's many partners include Cook Children's and 31 law enforcement agencies. They also partner with 900 agencies across the United States. AFC receives funding from all of their partners. There is no charge for families and children who need their services.
When a school counselor needs to refer a case, they will first go through law enforcement agencies and then those agencies involve Alliance For Children. Some of the newer types of cases include internet crimes. Sadly, technology is often an element in many cases. Not only does AFC help kids, but they also train school teachers and staff on recognizing if a child has experienced abuse. Family advocacy provides numerous resources for families in the aftermath of abuse.
Recent legislation has been both helpful and a hindrance for AFC. While some new legislation is good on paper, the reality doesn't always benefit. For example, Texas has created more steps to get abuse education and information into the school systems. Steps like requiring school board approval and signed parental consent forms can prevent some children from being helped. This is especially true if the abuser is also the parent.
Women's Policy Forum can advocate support on an individual level by referring individual places such as a church or any organization where adults are alone with children to Alliance for Children to review.
Volunteers are always needed in areas such as Kids Crew, Special Events, and Holiday Drives. Even volunteering just one day in a calendar year is helpful and needed. To volunteer please email Ms. Velasco at email@example.com
Report abuse at this hotline: 1-800-252-5400