April is Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month
Public invited to GSMYC fundraiser April 27
Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – The Hays County Commissioners Court has proclaimed the month of April 2017 as Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month to draw attention to the need for the entire community to be involved in protecting children. More than 335 children in Hays County were confirmed victims of child abuse in 2016.
The Greater San Marcos Youth Council, which operates the children’s shelter in Hays County and provides family support services, is holding its 8th Annual “A Night of Hope” fundraiser April 27 at Three Dudes Winery in Martindale to draw attention to and raise funds for the ongoing needs of children who suffer from abuse and neglect in Hays County. A catered dinner, wine-tasting, raffle, silent auction and music are planned. For more information, visit www.gsmyc.org.
Throughout Texas in 2016, nearly 59,000 cases of child abuse and neglect were confirmed, resulting in the placement of 47,410 children in foster care and 202 children died as a result of child abuse or neglect in the state – 31 more than in the previous year.
Julia Ramsay New, Executive Director of the Greater San Marcos Youth Council (GSMYC), thanked the Court for its support. “It’s a comfort being part of a county that truly cares about children and families and invests our tax dollars in helping us make the best possible life we can for our kids,” she said.
In turn, Precinct 3 Commissioner Will Conley thanked those who are directly involved in helping the victims of child abuse and neglect, noting that “we have a lot of good people fighting the fight every day” to ensure that those children have the services they need.
Texas law requires anyone who thinks a child, or person 65 years or older, or an adult with disabilities is being abused, neglected, or exploited must report it to Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) at 1-800-252-5400 or via the reporting website at https://www.txabusehotline.org/.
Anyone who is a victim of abuse or suspects the abuse of another person should report it to 9-1-1 if there is immediate danger or call 512-396-4357 (HELP) in Hays County for more information about available services. Additional information about identifying child abuse and neglect as well as that of older or disabled persons is provided by the Texas DFPS at https://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Child_Protection/.
Left to right, County Judge Bert Cobb, M.D., Precinct 2 Commissioner Mark Jones, Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe, Greater San Marcos Youth Council’s Julia Ramsay New; Precinct 3 Commissioner Will Conley; Eddie Warner of GSMYC; Lee Ikels, Hays County Child Welfare Board; Kimberley Key, Karen Muñoz, Kayla Reese and Shelley Denker of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA); Ashley Rios of Roxanna’s House/Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center; and Precinct 4 Commissioner Ray Whisenant.