As we celebrate and acknowledge our roots during this year of Blanco County’s 150th anniversary, it is natural for some of us to turn our minds to the future, perhaps wondering “Our past is interesting, but what’s next? Where are we headed? Is our future secure and bright?” The future is important, no doubt, but it hinges on the quality of life right now. The moments of each “today” are what have made our foundation strong and will continue to give us a hope and a future.
In considering our hopes and dreams for the future of Blanco County, the children living around us seem most important. We live in a county that truly cares about the quality of life of our children. Within our midst, it is easy to spot caring parents; school teachers and administrators who genuinely want the best for their students; pastors and church leaders working to inspire and put their faith into action; and a variety of adults and older youth who care so much about the youngest of our citizens they are willing to put the time, effort, and money it takes to help create a solid environment for our children. But are we doing enough? Are all our families and children truly receiving the care they need to flourish? The future of Blanco County will largely be determined by the quality of our children’s lives today. How well is Blanco County taking care of its children today?
April is Child Abuse Awareness Month in Blanco County, as established by the Blanco County Commissioners. Our county will also be joining in the National Day of Prayer for the Victims of Child Abuse to be held April 27th.
If you haven’t already been doing so, this is your time to look around at our county’s children. Really look at the children living around you. What do you see? Do all of our children have what they need right now in order to live the most productive lives possible? Do you see a child in need? Are you aware of problems a particular child is having today? Is there a family seeking assistance and not knowing where to turn? Do you see a child struggling through an environment of neglect or abuse?
The Blanco County Child and Family Welfare Board, as part of a statewide network of volunteers and advocacy professionals, encourages each individual to look around and to help take care of our Blanco County children and families today.
If you see any child or family in need, it is your responsibility as a citizen who cares about the future of Blanco County to help. But you don’t need to do it alone. Call the hotline at 1-800-252-5400 to report what you’ve seen or for information. Although you will likely be “on hold” for several minutes, there will be someone available 24 hours who will be capable of answering your questions.
We can be a people who pretend that everyone, even the smallest among us, have what they need to live a productive life, or we can be a people who truly see what is needed and work to make it happen; especially for those who cannot help themselves. Let’s work together to make give our children and their families a future and a hope that shines brightly. Let’s work together to make Blanco County’s future as solid as our ancestors have made our foundation.
In April, as you look around you, if you become aware of families or a specific child that could use a hand, here are several additional places to call or websites that might be helpful:
• Texas Parent to Parent (parent support group) 1-866-896-6001
• National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE
• Texas Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-210-2278
• Child Intervention Agencies 1-888-818-HOPE (missing, abused, exploited children)
• National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK
• National Runaway Switchboard 1-800-RUNAWAY
• Texas Abuse Hotline @ www.txabusehotline.org
• PRS www.tdprs.state.tx.us
• Children’s Trust Fund @ www.ctf.state.us
• Texas CASA @ www.texascasa.com
• Child Welfare League @ www.cwla.org
• Children’s Defense Fund @ www.children defense.org
• National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse @ www.childabuse.org
• The State of Texas Children: A County by County Fact Book @ www.cpp.org/kidscount