Community Based Programs

In FY2019, five programs are supported by the CCPD Community Based Program fund. These programs include:

CASA of Tarrant County

CASA of Tarrant County is a volunteer-based program advocating for the safety, permanency, and healing of abused and neglected children. CASA recruits, trains, and supervises community members to become volunteer advocates for children during their time in foster care. By forming a relationship with the child and the supportive adults in the child's life, the CASA volunteer learns about the child's unique needs and strengths. They help the child obtain therapeutic services the child needs to heal from their abuse while engaging and empowering the child's social support system. Over the course of a twelve-month court case, the CASA volunteer assesses if it would be in the child's best interest to return home to their family, be placed with a relative, or be made available for adoption. The CASA then provides the judge with a recommendation regarding what kind of permanent home would be in the child's best interests. They are one of the most consistent sources of support and stability for the child during their difficult and uncertain time in care, and they advocate that all decisions are made to meet the needs of the whole child.

Girls Embracing Mothers (GEM), Inc.

 Girls Embracing Mothers (GEM) is the only identified organization in Northeast Texas that offers services focused solely on girls with mothers in prison. Texas incarcerates more women by sheer number than any other state in the county. Children with incarcerated mothers are at least 5 times more likely to become incarcerated at some point during their lifetime. These children are more likely to become involved in substance use, drop out of high school, and engage in sexually risky behaviors, all of which place these children at greater risk for juvenile crime. GEM recognizes the humanity in the marginalized society of incarcerated mothers and their daughters and works to build solidarity within this population. GEM creates space for intergenerational healing of girls with incarcerated mothers. GEM programming aims to address these critical issues associated with maternal incarceration.

GEMS’s primary focus is to empower girls in grades K-12 with mothers in prison to break the cycle of incarceration and lead successful lives with vision and purpose. Through a partnership with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the program accomplishes its mission and goals by transporting girls from the North Texas area to a women’s prison in Gatesville to engage in supportive programming to improve relationship quality and self-esteem, and to deter negative life outcomes such as future criminal activity. The program supports development of life skills including literacy, social skills, and educational support.

JPS Foundation
The proposed program, Stop the Cycle of Family Violence in Fort Worth, addresses two significant safety issues in Fort Worth: human trafficking and family violence. Domestic and family violence account for 50% of violent crime in Tarrant County. Domestic violence is a vicious cycle, where the victims are subject to repeated acts of violence and abuse, and children raised in these environments are more likely to be victims or abusers themselves. CCPD can reduce violent crime and increase public safety in Fort Worth by targeting domestic violence and human trafficking. One of the barriers to stemming family violence and human trafficking is successfully identifying victims. Hospitals and healthcare providers are in a unique position to identify victims because domestic violence victims average 17 medical visits per year. However, as of last year, the DFW Hospital Council found that none of the local hospitals use a research-tested domestic violence or human trafficking screening instrument, which results in victims falling through the cracks, and even one devastating story of a victim who was beaten to death after not being identified by multiple area hospitals. That trend changed with the help of CCPD funding in 2017-18 for JPS’ Stop the Cycle of Family Violence in Fort Worth project. JPS has identified and implemented a research-tested domestic violence and human trafficking screening survey designed to identify victims and prevent repeated violence. The project trained clinical staff in the screening and conducted a ten-week trial pilot in the Emergency Room, where screenings went from 30% (using an old survey) to 69% using the new screening tool. JPS will be fully implementing the screening survey for all patients at three high-traffic locations: JPS’ Emergency Room, Level I Trauma Center, and the Polytechnic Community Clinic, as of June 4, 2018.

To continue to increase public safety, the JPS Foundation requests CCPD funding to expand implementation of this domestic violence and human trafficking screening survey in other areas of the JPS Health Network, including the Main JPS Health Center for Women, OB Triage, and JPS Urgent Care. The first two are high-volume areas where JPS health services are focused on women. Urgent Care is a high-traffic area where men, women, and children with violence-related injuries can be identified. The screening will be completed as part of every patient’s intake and medical history, identifying victims who would otherwise fall through the cracks. Once victims are identified, they are referred to Fort Worth Police and social service providers. Additionally, to increase literacy skills to help break the cycle of violence, JPS will provide books for patients with children with instructions on how to spend time reading together. Over the grant period, JPS projects screening 39,550 patients for domestic violence and human trafficking. An estimated 400 or more patients will be identified as victims, and JPS will provide books and literacy resources to 1,500 children of patients. In addition, through the DFW Hospital Coalition, JPS is providing the identified screening survey, training tools, and lessons learned to other Fort Worth hospitals, catalyzing the implementation of a domestic violence and human trafficking screening survey throughout hospitals in Fort Worth. Stop the Cycle addresses all three CCPD goals, both priority considerations, and is able to have a great impact on city-wide safety and reductions in violent crime.

Lena Pope Home, Inc.

Research indicates that juvenile offenders face many barriers to leading a life free of future crime and violence, including truancy, family instability, and substance abuse or mental health issues. Further, Texas has higher rates of juvenile detention than the national average, which creates significant community costs. Lena Pope’s Second Opportunity for Success® program works to rehabilitate first offending youth in the community, which research and previous program results suggest produces better, more cost-effective outcomes for these youth. The program has two phases which use research-tested strategies to address each of the barriers that juvenile offenders face to living without violence and recidivism. The first phase is seven weeks of skill building groups for both youth and their parents. Parents are required to accompany their children to each weekly class and attend a separate parenting class. Both parents and youth learn to effectively express concerns and solve problems. This intensive family involvement is one of the aspects that sets Second Opportunity for Success® apart, and according to research, is crucial to an effective diversionary program. The second phase of the program is a 90-day follow-up period where a Lena Pope staff monitors the student in the community to assure continued success. After the 90-day probation period has expired, the youth and family has completed all program requirements, and the youth has not re-offended, Lena Pope recommends to the referring party that the youth be successfully discharged and that the youth’s charges be dropped.

Second Opportunity for Success® has been recognized nationally as an outstanding program. Urban Solutions did an assessment of youth reentry programs in 2004 and named Second Opportunity for Success® as one of the top ten diversionary programs. Further, the program has had outstanding success since it began in 2000, with a cumulative recidivism rate of less than 10%. This success is based on the intensiveness of the program, the involvement of families, tenured staff, and the creation of lasting supports for youth and their families.

New Day Services for Children & Families

FOCUS for mothers is an early intervention program that works with mothers of children who are at risk of removal from their families and/or being placed in substitute care leading to the child’s chronic toxic stress, poor academic achievement, diminished health and risky behaviors including: crime and violence. Children that are removed or are at some risk of removal from their families and put into substitute care will have already experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) such as domestic violence in the home, neglect or abuse, both of which lead to their engagement in high risk behaviors including: being arrested as a juvenile and being involved in violent crimes. FOCUS for Mothers program’s primary focus is to reduce out-of-home placement for children. The program is about building mother’s key protective factors that enable children to thrive. It rebuilds children’s lives by helping their mothers gain the tools they need to redirect their lives.
Focus for mothers works to provide health mother involvement in the lives of their children. FOCUS partners with the Child Support Courts (office of the Attorney General), Child Protective Services (CPS) and the County Criminal Courts as well as other public and private entities. There are four goals for this program:
1. Provide tools to decrease tension and toxic stress on the child.
2. Increase mothers’ emotional and financial support and stability.
3. Strengthen co-parenting relationships.
4. Promote mothers’ healthy parenting skills (i.e. conflict resolution, decision making and communication skills.)

Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP)

In any emergency, good information is crucial. That's why the City of Fort Worth is working with agencies throughout North Texas to build a database of residents with special needs — to ensure assistance is available when disasters strike.

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