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HCPS, Trini Mendenhall honored at 50th anniversary luncheon
Published on November 16, 2016 by Christina M. Wright in General, Newsletter
The Harris County Children’s Protective Services Fund raised more than $160,000 during the “At the Heart of Families” luncheon, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of HCPS and honored former board member Trini Mendenhall. “We are grateful to those who contributed,” said Marilyn DeMontrond, co-chair of the luncheon. “The funds raised will assist the most vulnerable populations in Harris County.” The luncheon was sponsored by the HCCPS Fund, a non-profit that works to benefit HCPS programs with funding not available through other sources. “As a bonus, the luncheon was an opportunity to introduce many of our guests to the great work done at HCPS,” added co-chair Ellie Sweeney. Guests enjoyed an interview between KHOU news anchor Len Cannon and former Houston Texans player Chester Pitts and were also treated to songs from Kymora Simone, vice president of Youth On B.O.A.R.D.

Recent News

HCPS Integrated Clinic highlighted by Hogg Foundation 
Published on January 20, 2017 by Christina M. Wright in In the News
Integrated health care is the coordination of physical and behavioral health care. In 2012, Harris County Protective Services (HCPS) received funding from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health to plan and implement an integrated health care program for children ages birth through 17 in state care. Stakeholders in protective services reported that the existing system of care was a "broken" system. Read more from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health.
HCPS retirees honored for combined 125 years of dedication 
Published on November 21, 2016 by Christina M. Wright in Newsletter
HCPS proudly recognized four retirees whose totaled years of dedicated service to HCPS surpassed 125 years.  The four retirees were:  Debra Andrews Training Institute Director Andrews retired with 20 years of service. In her final position as Training Institute director, she headed the department revamp and helped develop a unique prevention assessment tool. Ross Galizio CYS Supervisor Galizio retired with 27 years of service to HCPS, finishing his tenure as a vital member of the Community Youth Services (CYS) team, which helps youth and their families through in-community crisis intervention. Claudia Flores Administrative Support Flores retired with 43 years of service to HCPS. She held several administrative positions over her tenure, the last with the HCPS Parent/Teen Survival program. Robbie Pennington Accounting Supervisor Pennington retired with 39 years of service. She was instrumental in the financial organization of the Guardianship Program, which HCPS acquired in 2003.
New HCPS board members: Sheila Aron & Darryl King 
Published on November 21, 2016 by Christina M. Wright in Newsletter
An author and a Houston-based entrepreneur joined the HCPS board this quarter, nearly filling the seats on the 15-member board. Sheila Aron is a parenting book author who has a passion for child abuse prevention. In October, Aron donated 100 copies of her book, “I’m Glad I’m Me: Weaving the Thread of Love From Generation to Generation” to foster parents. Darryl King is co-founder and CEO of management consulting firm Principle Partnering Group, LLC. King serves on several local and statewide boards for organizations dedicated to outreach, business and youth. Commissioner Steve Radack, Precinct 3, appointed Aron. Commissioner Jack Cagle, Precinct 4, appointed King. 
Youth On B.O.A.R.D. vice president active in community, career 
Published on November 21, 2016 by Christina M. Wright in Newsletter
The unassuming teenager, slim and soft-spoken, took the stage. Suddenly, a sweet, smooth jazz rendition of “The Children are Our Future,” filled the Houston Junior League ballroom during the “At the Heart of Families Luncheon.” Kymora Anderson, 16, is that teenager. She has been part of the HCPS Youth On B.O.A.R.D. for three years, but it is just one item on her growing pre-collegiate resume. The high school junior sings all genres. She said Youth On B.O.A.R.D. gave her the confidence to pursue and thrive in other areas of her life. She was instrumental in the youth’s anti-stigma workshop and another improving youth and adult relationships. Youth On B.O.A.R.D. encourages teenagers to have a voice. By all appearances, Anderson has found hers.
Editorial: There should be no debate about protecting our senior citizens 
Published on November 17, 2016 by Christina M. Wright in In the News
Elder abuse is all too common in Harris County. It's not just instances of severe neglect such as the case in north Houston that made national headlines in 2013 when three malnourished elderly men were found inside a garage. They had been without access to a bathroom for a year. But financial abuse is prevalent, too. Harris County Commissioners Court has the opportunity to step up its efforts to protect the elderly when it votes today to accept a grant from the federal government to create a senior assessment center. Read more from The Houston Chronicle.
County officials: Raise education requirements for CPS caseworkers 
Published on November 17, 2016 by Christina M. Wright in In the News
Facing significant turnover of Child Protective Services caseworkers, a state agency this year waived the requirement that applicants have bachelor's degrees from college. But that decision won't help the children that the state is trying to protect, say the leaders of Harris County Protective Services, which for 50 years has helped CPS address child welfare in the county. The leaders conveyed their concerns in a recent letter to DFPS. Read more from The Houston Chronicle.
Agencies unite to save seniors from abuse, exploitation 
Published on November 17, 2016 by Christina M. Wright in In the News
Experts expect ... elderly exploitation to increase as Baby Boomers age and the vulnerable senior population surges, a prospect that's forcing Harris County officials to better understand and address cases of exploitation, abuse and neglect. They're proposing creating a "senior justice assessment center," which would, for the first time, bring a handful of health care, city and county government officials together under one roof. Read more from The Houston Chronicle.
Retiring Harris County official 'made his mark' on protective services 
Published on November 17, 2016 by Christina M. Wright in In the News
When George Ford was a sophomore at East Baptist Texas College, he took a sociology class and the idea of becoming a child welfare worker simply "struck a chord." Now Ford, 68, is retiring from the department, which has grown from roughly 50 employees to more than 300. It has come to provide a variety of services for youth transitioning out of foster care, counseling for at-risk students at school, and diversion programs to keep youth out of the foster care and juvenile justice systems. Read more from The Houston Chronicle.
HCPS sponsors brunch recognizing foster parents 
Published on November 16, 2016 by Christina M. Wright in Newsletter
HCPS sponsored an October brunch for nearly 40 foster parents in Harris County.  Through a close partnership, the event was hosted by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and sponsored by HCPS. Paul Shanklin, of Precinct 4, served as master of ceremony, enriching the programming with a song and encouragement that all should enjoy the morning. The usual December event was held in October this year to relieve some of the holiday pressure and encourage family time.  HCPS also arranged for an ice cream social where 26 foster youth could mingle while their guardians enjoyed brunch.
BEARing Gifts hopeful after Back-to-School volunteer interest  
Published on November 16, 2016 by Christina M. Wright in Newsletter
Through the commitment of volunteers and donors, the BEAR Back-to-School program ensured more than 4,000 children in DFPS care began the school year with needed supplies. “Many of the people who volunteered or gave for Back-to-School also participated in our BEARing Gifts program from last year,” said Michelle Searles, volunteer coordinator for BEAR. “We’re hoping this is a strong indicator of the support we will get for the upcoming BEARing Gifts program.” BEAR...BE A Resource for CPS Kids (BEAR) provides hope and help to children in the care of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services through basic necessities, school uniforms and supplies and holiday gifts.  This year, BEAR received $30,605 in cash donations and $15,700 in in-kind donations.
Summer Jobs program kickstarts foster youth job experience 
Published on November 16, 2016 by Christina M. Wright in Newsletter
For the first time in the history of The HAY Center’s Summer Jobs Program, a youth worked in a restaurant setting this summer. “She got to work in every position, front and back of the house, to determine if this was something she’d like to do for a career,” said Sherri Lee, Employment and Career Development Coordinator at The HAY Center. The youth, who worked for Longhorn Steak House, was one of more than 40 who The HAY Center placed in summer positions. The program aims to build job skills in foster youth, as well as aid them in their career path.  The HAY Center, a public/private partnership that is also a HCPS program, helps older foster youth transition to independence.