Child Advocacy Centers in both Grayson and Fannin counties are trying to recover after funding they normally receive didn't make it their way this year.
Fannin County Child Advocacy Center Director Sandy Barber was surprised when she heard the news last month that her organizations was not going to receive their annual funding from the state. “Currently we have an opening with the CAC, we had already started interviewing to replace that person, however because of that funding cut, we have had to put a hiring freeze on for right now."
This year, the state of Texas received two million less in victims of Crime Act Funds (VOCA). That means centers in both Grayson and Fannin Counties lost just under $50,000 dollars each (that’s 16 percent of the budget for Fannin County). A loss of staffing could be very detrimental to their goal. “We have specially trained staff that know how to interview those children without being leading or suggestive or things like that."
The loss has caused the centers to rely on the publics help to make up for the lost money, but the lack of funding is not the only problem hampering the centers. “Children are having to spend the night in CPS offices because there are flat out no foster homes."
Barber says more and more children are left without a home, putting a strain on child protective services and on the children themselves. “They think no one in the state of Texas wants me or wants to take me in and so its really heartbreaking and difficult.”
Now officials with both offices are doing what they can to make up some of the lost money, but a lack of funding is not the only problem they have solve.
Fannin County Children’s Advocacy Center Foster and Adoption Home Informational Meeting is on Tuesday, August 7 from 6:30-8:30 pm. For more information, call (903) 583-4339.