AUSTIN – In an evening ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion on Sept. 21, 2015, the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas Inc. was recognized with the Community Leadership Award for its efforts on behalf of child victims of physical and sexual abuse across Texas. The award was presented during the 32nd annual Governor’s Volunteer Awards ceremony.
Recognized by First Lady Cecilia Abbott, Honorary Chair of the 32nd Annual Governor’s Volunteer Awards, and the OneStar Foundation, CACTX joins a select group of individuals, groups and organizations honored for a significant and measurable contribution to their communities.
“The power of the public-private partnerships our membership has established at 69 different Children’s Advocacy Centers across the state cannot be overstated. Through these intricate collaborations, our network is able to provide much needed assistance to nearly 40,000 Texas children every year who have been subjected to heartbreaking abuse,” said Joy Hughes Rauls, executive director of CACTX. “We are grateful to our partners across the state, law enforcement, CPS, prosecution, medical and mental health providers and volunteers, who have joined this collective vision of justice and healing for the smallest of victims.”
The Gingerbread House children’s advocacy center in Ellis County is among the 69 CACs that serve children across the state of Texas.
“The Gingerbread House provides crucial services to over 300 new cases each year and also over 500 children are provided free counseling,” said John Wyckoff, executive director of the Gingerbread House. “Without the support of our local partnerships, all of the law enforcement agencies in Ellis County, Texas Department of Protective and Family Services, Ellis County Juvenile Probation Services and the Ellis County and District Attorney’s Office, the positive impact we are making on our community would not be possible. We are proud to accept this award alongside CACTX.”
Children’s advocacy centers are a nationally renowned solution to the challenges facing the child victims of sexual and physical abuse. At their core, the centers provide a place for representatives of law enforcement, legal, medical and child protective service organizations to coordinate the pursuit of justice for perpetrators and therapeutic healing for victims and their families. Forging partnerships with community volunteers, child welfare advocates and government agencies, local centers also provide the much needed support these families need while seeking justice.
“Texas is so fortunate to have a First Lady like Cecilia Abbott and an organization like the OneStar Foundation who understand the value of partnerships within communities,” Rauls said. “We dream that, someday, child abuse will be eradicated but, until then, we’ll keep working together in the service of a tragic but vital cause. I’m proud to accept this award on their behalf.”