Category: Featured

Lend a Hand Virtual Event Supports National Child Abuse Prevention Month

ACH raises awareness of child abuse and neglect in Tarrant County

 

FORT WORTH, Texas (March 25, 2021) – During Child Abuse Prevention Month in April, ACH joins other organizations in calling attention to the trauma and long-term impact of child abuse and neglect. Tarrant County has the fourth-highest number of confirmed child abuse and neglect victims of any county in Texas and ACH is committed to bringing about needed change.

To promote awareness of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, ACH is holding a virtual event from 12—1 p.m. on Thursday, April 8. This year’s 11th annual “Lend a Hand” event features a conversation between Tia Magee, Program Manager for ACH’s Pat O’Neal Youth Emergency Shelter program and her son, former NFL linebacker and Boston Red Sox outfielder, Brandon Magee. Their story is a fascinating one, currently being made into a Netflix movie, “Redd Zone,” starring Jada Pinkett-Smith in the role of Tia Magee. Brandon is the Executive Producer and will talk with Tia about what inspired the movie being made and how Tia’s personal mission aligns with ACH’s mission and the work she does today to help children in our community.

Lend a Hand was founded with the idea that organizations dedicated to preventing and treating child abuse and neglect needed an outlet from which to provide information, discuss collaborative ideas and share various ways of communicating the key statistics to the public at large. ACH believes that attacking this issue on a grass-roots level will lead to greater success in getting the public engaged in an issue that truly affects everyone.

To register to attend and learn more about ACH Child and Family Services’ important efforts to battle child abuse and neglect, visit https://achservices.org/lend-a-hand/.

Sponsors for the Lend a Hand event include Modo Networks, The Christenberry Group, Deutser Consultants + Creators, QuikTrip, and Kelly & Robert Keller.

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About ACH

With more than a century of experience, ACH Child and Family Services, a Fort Worth-based nonprofit agency, brings needed resources and skills to children and families struggling with life’s challenges. Some of our 17 programs and services keep children and families together while others provide a healing home for children who can’t live with their families. Through the “Our Community Our Kids” division, ACH is leading the way in Community-Based Care in seven counties of the Texas foster care system. ACH has been accredited every year since 2003 by the Council on Accreditation and in 2018 Our Community Our Kids became nationally accredited. Our vision is for families to thrive and children to experience safety, hope and love. Learn more at achservices.org.

817.335.HOPE (4673)  |  ACHservices.org

National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

ACH raises awareness to protect exploited persons during National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

 

FORT WORTH, Texas (Jan. 4, 2021)- Each January, ACH joins others throughout the country to participate in National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, which calls attention to the experiences of human trafficking victims in our country. In 2019, 2,455 human trafficking victims were identified in Texas. ACH advocates on behalf of these victims in the Tarrant County and surrounding areas through a series of programs designed to support those who are vulnerable.

“Trafficking can happen to anyone, regardless of age, race or gender,” said Tia Magee, Program Manager for ACH’s Youth Emergency Shelter. “Our staff works every day to provide a safe place and trusting relationships for victims of human trafficking whose crises, homelessness, substance abuse or mental health concerns leave them especially vulnerable to traffickers.”

Several of ACH’s programs help youth at risk or affected by human trafficking. The Pat O’Neal Youth Emergency Shelter serves youth ages 10-17 who are runaways or homeless or who are experiencing or at risk of sexual exploitation and/or trafficking. The shelter – the only one of its kind in Tarrant County – provides 24/7 safety and care as well as outreach, education, advocacy, counseling and case management services.

The Youth Emergency Shelter is also a designated “Safe Place.” Safe Place is a national program administered locally by ACH that provides access to immediate help and safety for young people in trouble. Youth feeling unsafe or threatened can get help from ACH at any of more than 250 Safe Place locations throughout Tarrant County.

Through ACH’s Assessment, Intervention, and Referral Services (AIRS) program, youth and others in crisis can find the help and assistance they need, when they need it. AIRS operates a 24-hour crisis call response line that serves as a portal to connect individuals to ACH programs and services or other community services. If you need support, contact us at 817.335.HOPE (4673) or email help@ACHservices.org for 24-hour assistance. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911.

National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month is spearheaded each year by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through their Blue Campaign, which works closely with DHS Components to create general awareness training and materials for law enforcement and others to increase detection of human trafficking and identify victims.

The National Human Trafficking Hotline provides survivors of human trafficking with vital support and a variety of options to get help and stay safe. Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline toll-free hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

 

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About ACH

With over a century of experience, ACH Child and Family Services, a Fort Worth-based nonprofit agency, brings needed resources and skills to children and families struggling with life’s challenges. ACH has 17 programs that provide a variety of services and support in crisis intervention, foster care and adoption, family services, residential services, and community-based care. Some are in place to keep children and families together while others provide a healing home for children who can’t live with their families. Through the Our Community Our Kids division, ACH is leading the way in Community-Based Care in seven counties of the Texas foster care system. ACH has been accredited every year since 2003 by the Council on Accreditation and in 2018 Our Community Our Kids became the only nationally accredited community-based care contractor in Texas. Our vision is for families to thrive and children to experience safety, hope and love. Learn more at achservices.org.

Thank you, Junior League of Fort Worth!

junior-league-yoga

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.

 
MEET THE FOSTER PARENTS!
 
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.”

BRANCHING OUT

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.”

BECOME A FOSTER PARENT!

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.

GET STARTED TODAY.

National Runaway Prevention Month Brings Attention to Youth in Crisis

ACH “Shines a Light” to make an impact on runaway and homeless youth

 

FORT WORTH –  Each November, ACH joins others throughout the country to participate in National Runaway Prevention Month, which calls attention to the experiences of millions of runaway and homeless youth in our country. ACH advocates on behalf of these children, teens and young adults in Tarrant County and surrounding areas through a series of different programs designed to support and ultimately prevent homelessness. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this critical work has never been more important for so many youth who have fallen on hard times.

“There are almost 15,000 homeless youth in Tarrant County alone, and more than half are under the age of six,” said Tia Magee for ACH’s Pat O’Neal Youth Emergency Shelter. “Our staff work every day to provide a safe place and trusting relationships for runaway youth who are grappling with family conflicts, crises and homelessness.”

The Pat O’Neal Youth Emergency Shelter serves youth ages 10-17 who are runaways or homeless or who are experiencing or at risk of sexual exploitation and/or trafficking. The shelter – the only one of its kind in Tarrant County – provides 24/7 safety and care as well as outreach, education, advocacy, counseling and case management services.  The Pat O’Neal Youth Emergency Shelter is also a designated “Safe Place.” Safe Place is a national program administered locally by ACH that provides access to immediate help and safety for young people in trouble. Youth feeling unsafe or threatened can get help from ACH at any of more than 250 Safe Place locations throughout Tarrant County.

“Emotionally, being homeless hits you because you’re left with your thoughts… I was super sad,” said Mohammed, a teen who received care at ACH. “But when I came to the shelter, I was always surrounded by people, and I didn’t have those stressors of being homeless.”

Through ACH’s Assessment, Intervention, and Referral Services (AIRS) program, youth and others in crisis can find the help and assistance they need, when they need it. AIRS operates a 24-hour crisis call response line that serves as a portal to connect individuals to ACH programs and services. If you need support, contact us at 817.335.HOPE (4673) or email help@ACHservices.org for 24-hour assistance. If you are experiencing an emergency, call 911.

First launched in October 2002, National Runaway Prevention Month is spearheaded each year by National Runaway Safeline (NRS), a national nonprofit organization committed to ensuring that runaway, homeless and at-risk youth are safe and off the streets, with the support of the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB). Every November, ACH shines a green light – the official color of National Runaway Prevention Month – to call attention to youth homelessness which impacts communities everywhere.

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About ACH

With over a century of experience, ACH Child and Family Services, a Fort Worth-based nonprofit agency, brings needed resources and skills to children and families struggling with life’s challenges. Some of our 17 programs and services keep children and families together while others provide a healing home for children who can’t live with their families. Through the Our Community Our Kids division, ACH is leading the way in Community-Based Care in seven counties of the Texas foster care system. ACH has been accredited every year since 2003 by the Council on Accreditation and in 2018 Our Community Our Kids became the only nationally accredited community-based care contractor in Texas. Our vision is for families to thrive and children to experience safety, hope and love. Learn more at achservices.org.

817.335.HOPE (4673)  |  ACHservices.org

 

ACH’s Tia Magee To Be Played by Jada Pinkett Smith in Netflix Film

One of ACH’s dedicated employees will soon have her story told via Netflix.

Tia Magee, who oversees ACH’s Pat O’Neal Youth Emergency Shelter, will be played by Jada Pinkett Smith in the upcoming Netflix film “Redd Zone.”

The film will follow Magee’s real-life story as a single mother who helped her son’s football team heal following the tragic murder of their teammate, Dominic Redd.

“This beautiful story is a powerful example of how love and dedication from one person changed the lives of so many,” said Pinkett-Smith in an Instagram post.

“Redd Zone” will be produced by Westbrook Studios with Magee’s son, Brandon, as executive producer.

 

Tia Magee, Manager for
ACH’s Youth Emergency Shelter.

 

ACH is thrilled to see Magee’s story told through this film as she continues her passion for helping youth in need at ACH. The Youth Emergency Shelter serves ages 10-17 who are runaways or homeless or who are experiencing or at risk of sexual exploitation and/or trafficking.

“There are almost 15,000 homeless youth in Tarrant County alone, and more than half are under the age of six,” said Magee. “Our staff works every day to provide a safe place and trusting relationships for runaway youth who are grappling with family conflicts, crises, and homelessness.”

The shelter – the only one of its kind in Tarrant County – provides 24/7 safety and care as well as outreach, education, advocacy, counseling, and case management services.

ACH is proud to have Magee on our team. The work she does every day continues to better the lives of youth and families in our community.

For more updates on “Redd Zone” and to learn more about ACH, follow us on FacebookInstagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.