Category: Press Releases

ACH Launches New Program for Those Caring for a Child Who is Not Their Own

Kinship Care

ACH Child and Family Services’ Kinship Navigator Program benefits kinship families raising grandchildren, nieces, or nephews

FORT WORTH, Texas (Oct. 5, 2021)- ACH Child and Family Services’ newly launched Kinship Navigator program connects kinship families in Tarrant, Parker, Palo Pinto, Johnson, and Hill Counties to a network of resources and education. A kinship family occurs when a grandmother, aunt, uncle, or sibling is raising a family member. Kinship also occurs when children are placed with a close family friend. ACH was one of four organizations selected by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to receive a grant to develop such a program, and the Kinship Navigator program is now officially implemented.

“The Kinship Navigator program helps kinship families with their unique needs and connects them to much-needed resources, support groups, counseling, and more,” said Chantel Bedlington, ACH Kinship Navigator Program Supervisor.

ACH also developed a guide to help kinship parents navigate their new role: What to Expect When You Weren’t Expecting. The guide teaches parents how to get the children enrolled in school, what to expect in the licensing process, and how to apply for Medicaid. It will also have recommendations for articles, podcasts, and books on kinship and trauma-informed care.

“Kinship families weren’t prepared like a foster, adoptive, or birth parent—they simply answered the phone and said ‘yes,’ when they were called. They are family taking care of family, stepping up, and doing the right thing with little to no support,” said Bedlington. “I’m proud to be a part of an organization that is here to help give those families hope by providing the support they need so that they can thrive.”

This past year, ACH has been reviewing data from a voluntary survey and connecting with kinship families as well as organizations that serve kinship families to build a network of resources to build the Kinship Navigator program.

Because of ACH’s broad range of programs that help children and families, the program has been able to assist many kinship families before the program launched. Kinship families have been able to utilize ACH’s 24/7 crisis hotline, Real Help for Real Life, which provides free youth and family counseling, and our Kinship Connections support group.

To learn more about the Kinship Navigator program, visit ACHservices.org/kinship-navigator.

ACH Child and Family Services Celebrates 500th Adoption

Randall and Nikki Emery welcomed Everett into their forever home, making them ACH’s 500th Adoption.
Local nonprofit focused on protecting children and preserving families celebrates historic milestone

FORT WORTH, Texas (July 19, 2021) – ACH Child and Family Services is excited to announce the organization’s 500th adoption. ACH serves children from infancy to age 17 who are in the care of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) with special attention around the placement of sibling groups and children age five and up, especially teens.

“While we’re proud to announce this milestone, we recognize there is still much work to be done,” says Lance Ortiz, ACH Outreach Coordinator. “Every day, we seek parents who will open their hearts and homes to deserving children. This work is so important in our ability to make a positive impact in the lives of those children and teens who need it most, as well as the greater Fort Worth community. We want to continue to do what we can to provide the critical support and resources children need to succeed.”

ACH Child and Family Services continues to raise awareness of the impact and importance of foster care. In 2020, there were more than 9,000 children in North Texas in need of Foster Care.

“Foster parents are important because they protect children and preserve families,” said Ortiz. “They provide homes and hearts filled with love and compassion and help children heal from the traumatic experiences and environments they may have come from. ACH thoroughly trains and supports foster parents to help children heal while their biological parents are working with agencies to regain focus and prepare for reunification. If a court determines that’s not possible, then we look to adoption to find the child a forever family.”

ACH has several upcoming virtual & in-person Foster Care and Adoption Meet & Greet events:

  • Tuesday, August 31st, 12-1 p.m. (Zoom Meeting)
  • Tuesday, September 7th, 6-7 p.m. (In-Person)
  • Thursday, September 16th, 6-7 p.m. (In-Person)

Those interested in learning more about foster care and/or adoption are invited to join these free information sessions. Participants can register online or by calling 817.335.HOPE (4673). 

Learn more about how you can get involved at ACH today!

Free Summer Camp Helps Children with Life’s Challenges

ACH Child and Family Services helps children with emotional skill-building at Camp Thrive

FORT WORTH, Texas (June 8th, 2021)- ACH Child and Family Services’ Real Help for Real Life counseling program is providing a free summer camp for youth ages 10-17.  Camp Thrive teaches youth skills that will create better relationships for themselves moving forward and shows them how to self-regulate with their emotions and everyday challenges. These are skills many kids might have lost during the COVID-19 pandemic due to social distancing and spending an excessive amount of time behind a screen.

“These skills are important for youth because they lay the foundation for them to build off moving forward. This foundation is crucial to facing challenges day to day and interacting amongst their families and friend groups,” said Bethany Brown, ACH Skills Training Coordinator. “As child trauma expert Bruce Perry has said, we as humans need relationships to survive. Children must learn to express their feelings and learn what a healthy relationship looks like.”

Camp Thrive is divided into two sessions. The first session is July 15 at 6 p.m. for an intake session, and the camp is July 16 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.  The second session is July 26 at 6 p.m. for intake, and the camp is July 27 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Camp Thrive is free of charge and will be in-person using COVID-19 safety protocols. The intake includes parents or guardians, and the camp is for kids only. Free gas cards will be provided at the end of each session.

To register for Camp Thrive, call 817.335.4673 for top priority registration or visit https://achservices.org/skill-builder-classes/. Parents must respond and receive a confirmation before attending.

About ACH

With more than a century of experience, ACH, 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 cannot 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.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

ACH raises awareness of child abuse and neglect in Tarrant County

 

FORT WORTH, Texas (March 23, 2021) – Each April, ACH joins other organizations throughout the country to participate in Child Abuse Prevention Month, which calls attention to the trauma and long-term impact of child abuse and neglect.

Tarrant County has among the highest numbers of confirmed child abuse and neglect cases of any county in Texas, with 6,202 confirmed victims in 2020 alone. More than their peers, childhood victims of abuse and neglect are likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), to become homeless and to end up in the criminal justice system. The cost of being denied a normal childhood is immeasurable. But the impact on the American society is not without cost, as the annual cost of lost worker productivity alone exceeds an estimated $65 billion.

As a thought leader in child abuse prevention, ACH is committed to partnering with organizations, corporations and individuals to raise public awareness of child abuse and to bring about needed change in our community.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, factors like heightened stress, school closures, loss of income and social isolation resulting from the pandemic increase the risk for child abuse and neglect. The CDC is also concerned that victims might not receive the care they need and that the severity of their injuries might have worsened. They recommend that strategies to prevent child abuse and neglect are important, particularly during public health emergencies.

We at ACH believe 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. So, we will continue to share ideas and communicate key statistics to the public at large. Preventing and treating child abuse and neglect is everyone’s job. If you know a family who is struggling and needs support in parenting, call ACH at 817-335-4673. If someone suspects abuse and neglect, call the Texas Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400.

To kick off 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 will feature Tia Magee, ACH’s Youth Emergency Shelter Manager and the focus of an upcoming Netflix original movie, ‘Redd Zone,’ and her son Brandon Magee, producer, and former professional athlete. They’ll be discussing Child Abuse Prevention Month and Tia’s experience helping youth in crisis.

How can you help bring attention to this issue? Wear blue on Friday, April 9 and post photos of yourself and your friends wearing blue to #SilenceEndsHere, #KidsCantWait, #WearBlueDay and #GoBlue.  All of us at ACH will be wearing blue, so you should, too.

To learn more about ACH Child and Family Services’ important efforts to battle child abuse and neglect, visit https://achservices.org/silence-ends-here/.

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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

 

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.

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