Work continues as child abuse and neglect continue to rise

As the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) releases their 2017 statistics on child abuse and neglect, ESCAPE Family Resource Center continues to focus on the prevention of child abuse through providing programs and classes to enhance parenting skills for families at risk of child maltreatment in the greater Houston area.

“We believe that every parent wants the best for their children, but understand that many need support and encouragement to attain the level of skill that can create a happy, healthy and loving environment for the entire family,” said Fritz Guthrie, CEO. “For 35 years, we have helped thousands and thousands of families understand and enhance their parenting skills so that the entire family can thrive.”

ESCAPE Family Resource Center provides a wide range of classes to build confident families, prepare families for the reality of divorce, and assist family members in understanding the role they each play in creating a healthy atmosphere at home.  Additional classes are offered on a variety of topics.  One centers on building the mother’s confidence, and another provides fathers an opportunity to learn more about how to better relate to and nurture their children.   Other classes are designed to support the entire family.

Educators host classes in English and/or Spanish at locations across Harris and Fort Bend counties, with most lasting for 7 weeks in a two-hour session each week.  In January, the Parent Aide Program was launched, providing a trained staff member to go directly into the homes to support those families most at risk of child maltreatment.

“Working with dozens of agencies across the Greater Houston area, the staff of ESCAPE Family Resource Center has committed to working with each of the families in the Parent Aide Program for 6-24 months.  This allows us time to work together to develop a plan that will create happier, healthier families, and to create milestones to show parents how far they have come in the process.  It is a great program and it delivers significant results,” Guthrie said.

The latest report from Texas DFPS shows that child abuse and neglect continue to rise; however, the number of children who died as a result of maltreatment in 2017 is down 22.5% from 2016.  Over 7.2 million reports of child abuse were made in the United States last year, with over half receiving a full investigation.  In Texas, 295,485 reports of abuse and neglect were made, with 63,657 cases confirmed – an 8.5% increase from 2016.

“We are making progress and we are keenly aware that child abuse and neglect are preventable through education,” Guthrie said.  “We have 8 full-time staff and 50 part-time educators who are dedicated daily to doing everything possible to enhance the relationships parents have with their children.”

ESCAPE Family Resource Center has partnerships with six school districts, the Harris County Domestic Relations Office, judges, courts, shelters, service organizations, churches, counseling agencies and medical offices that provide referrals to the classes available.  As a 501(C) 3 non-profit organization, ESCAPE Family Resource Center depends on contributions from grants and public funding.

To learn more about ESCAPE Family Resource Center, please visit ESCAPEfrc.org.

Contact: Fritz Guthrie, CEO
713.942.9500