Month: May 2020

Thank you, Junior League of Fort Worth!


Youth in the LIFE Project enjoyed a night of yoga with the Junior League of Fort Worth.

Thank you to the Junior League of Fort Worth for being a positive presence in the lives of our youth. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, they continue to provide care and support to ACH Child and Family Services’ Youth Emergency Shelter and The LIFE Project.

“Although we were unable to engage with volunteers and visitors in person at the campus, these amazing volunteers collaborated with us to complete wellness sessions with our LIFE Project kiddos virtually through Marco Polo and Zoom,” said Vanessa Daniels, ACH’s Volunteer Services Manager.

Junior League of Fort Worth is extremely generous with their time, talent, and resources. They have also given us a recent gift for the RTC and for emergency funding for COVID-19.

“We could not do what we do without the help and support of our volunteers. We are blessed to have Junior League of Fort Worth as one of our superhero community partners,” said Vanessa.

Junior League of Fort Worth has volunteered with ACH for five years, and in 2017 they received our Community Partner Award for their commitment to our youth.

Sharon Soh, clinical manager at the shelter, said the Junior League volunteers have always brought fun to the shelter.

 “The kids always enjoy the dinners they bring and the games they play,” Sharon said. “It’s a really great opportunity for them to learn how to socialize with others with respect and is always a time they look forward to.”

Once again, thank you Junior League of Fort Worth for all that you do for our youth at ACH!



Junior League of Fort Worth volunteers show off their homemade tattoos with the Little Art Bus.

Fostering Families via Zoom

COVID-19 has not discouraged future foster parents from trying to change a child’s life during May’s National Foster Care Month and all year long. Right now, ACH Child and Family Services has 26 families in virtual training to become foster or adoptive families or kinship caregivers

“Even with a pandemic, families are stepping up each and every day to provide a child with a safe, loving home,” said Stella Maggs, Director of Foster Care and Adoption at ACH.

Foster care, Adoption, and Kinship training classes are currently being provided on Zoom. However, as state-mandated, some classes are still held in person, such as First Aid and CPR.

Dave and Alyssa Slayton are of one of the many couples who have been doing online trainings to become foster parents at ACH.

“I can honestly say, because of COVID-19, there have been some bumps along the way, but ACH has either had a solution or one in the works,” Alyssa said.

Going virtual with trainings through Zoom has allowed potential foster parents to attend trainings as far as Weatherford, Gainesville, and Balch Springs.  Dave saves an hour-long commute to ACH’s Wichita campus from his job.

“Now his commute is from one computer to the next,” Alyssa said.

One thing that has impressed them, is how well-adapted and resourceful the Adoption & Foster Care team has been during the trainings.

“We would have thought they had done all of this before,” Alyssa said. “It could have been a very mundane process, but the teachers were diligent about keeping the class interactive and intrigued.”


When the pandemic hit, Family Engagement and Placement Supervisor Rene Rodriguez said he wanted his department to reach as many people possible. Zoom trainings have allowed ACH to reach families far and wide around North Texas.

“ACH’s name is everywhere now,” Rene said. “People seem to like the virtual approach as it’s more convenient—and keeps us all safe!”

ACH’s Adoption & Foster Care team planned on expanding meet and greets with prospective foster parents to more cities by the end of the year. However, the pandemic forced them to expand reach in just a few days.

“We had to,” Rene said. “Kids can’t wait and we in the Foster Care & Adoption Department know that all too well.”


The need for caring parents is greater now during the COVID-19 outbreak. Join our virtual training classes to become a Foster or Adoptive parent and provide a child in-need with a safe and loving home. ACH is here to help you every step of the way.


Donate a meal to families and youth in need!

If you want to help your community during the COVID-19 pandemic, here is your chance! Next time you order from your favorite restaurant, you can help youth and families who otherwise might go without a meal. 

Through the Comfort Food Care Package program, participating Texas restaurants will be offering meal packages that can be donated by customers to needy families impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced this program in late March.

“The Comfort Food Care Package program will provide at-risk youth and families with an additional food source,” said Governor Abbott, “while giving Texans another way to support local restaurants and their fellow Texans experiencing hardships due to COVID-19.”

  1. Add an order to your meal at a participating restaurant for at-risk families and youth!
  2. The restaurant packages the meal.
  3. The Texas Family and Youth Success Program identifies families and shelters with the most need.
  4. Favor delivers within 8 miles—and the tip is included!

Jason’s Deli was one of the first restaurants to participate in the program! Just add a “Family Care Pasta Meal” to your order and it will be delivered to those in need.

“This Comfort Food Care Package is a way that we can all pitch in and do our best to help Texans,” said Blake Parker, Jason’s Deli’s Chief Innovation Officer.

Other participating restaurants in Fort Worth include El Fenix, Ol’ South Pancake House, Arizola’s Mexican Restaurant, Boopa’s Bagel Deli, Dirty Job Brewing, Edelweiss German Restaurant, El Sombrero Mexican Restaurant, Funky Picnic, and HG Sply Co.


We love seeing Fort Worth businesses involved with helping youth and families in need. However, we need to add more restaurants to that list.  Encourage your favorite local restaurants to be a part of the Comfort Food Care Package Program! 



 Please note that the Family and Youth Success program uses a community-wide list to identify families and shelters who have the most need for meals. ACH Child and Family Services manages the Family and Youth Success program in our area, but meals extend well beyond ACH clients—this program truly serves the community at large!

Justin’s Journey through the LIFE Project

We all know entering adulthood can be difficult. But becoming an adult after growing up in the care of Child Protective Services (CPS), comes with a whole set of other challenges. Despite that, Justin continues to persevere with the help of ACH’s LIFE Project, a Supervised Independent Living program. 

Youth aging out of the foster care system are often overlooked. These children come from hard places, like Justin, and are expected to face adulthood without a support system.

“That’s something your typical young adult doesn’t have to worry about,” said Transitions Program Manager, Nick Little. “This population needs caring adults in their lives as well.”

Justin reflected on his past foster homes and what he needed to prepare for adulthood.

“I’ve seen the difference between a home where the parents care about helping kids and others where you’re just in the house, doing your own thing,” said Justin.

The LIFE Project offers support and guidance for foster youth ages 18-21. The program assists them with finding and maintaining employment, enrolling in school, learning how to create structure for themselves, and other necessary adulthood skills.

“We help them get used to thinking about all this on their own,” Nick adds, “But it’s also learning the more difficult concepts, like how to have appropriate relationships.”

The LIFE Project helps community clients as well, who find themselves homeless or couch surfing, with really no place to go. But most clients are young adults who decided to stay in extended foster care after turning 18.

Since joining The LIFE Project, Justin thinks about how far he’s come with the help of staff mentors like Thad McCall.

 “Mr. Thad found out I didn’t have an I.D., so I wasn’t able to get any jobs. Within two weeks of being here, he made sure I had one,” he recalled. “I’m legally an adult. He could’ve told me to figure it out on my own, but he didn’t, and I just really appreciated that.”

Justin believes the LIFE Project has allowed him to see how much he can succeed and plan where he wants to be, not just months from now but years down the line. He hopes one day to become self-sufficient as an entrepreneur and have the family of his dreams.

May is National Foster Care Month. Learn more about the foster youth we serve in our podcast. If you like what you hear, please be sure to rate and review. You can advocate for young adults like Justin by sharing this podcast with a friend.

Hear Justin’s full story here: