A Place to Connect: TXICFW adopts a CPS Visitation Room

When children are removed from their parents and placed in the care of CPS, it is important that they have opportunities to maintain relationships with their families. In fact, CPS offices have special visitation rooms for children and their families to connect. Visitation rooms are places where families can heal relationships and preserve a sense of belonging, as well as, practice skills learned through parenting support and demonstrate the ability to care for their child. Many children are reunified with their families through support with CPS, but regardless of the case outcomes, children can benefit from forming life-long safe and positive attachments with family. Since the visitation rooms are one of the key places where children and families can connect, it is important that they are warm and welcoming spaces. In support of this effort, the TXICFW team decided it fit into our mission to “adopt” one of the visitation rooms at the CPS offices.

Just SOME of the donations TXICFW received to fill the CPS visitation donation.

A few Saturdays ago, the TXICFW team got together to spruce up our adopted CPS visitation room. We cleaned, assembled a couch, table, and bookshelf, decorated the walls, and provided rugs and seating for the room. We carefully supplied toys and books that could interest kids of all ages, from infants to teens. We plan to return every few months to restock and repair. We even have plans to paint next time! We want to especially thank our friends, families and community groups for donating toys, books, art supplies and furniture. Thanks to the generous donations, we received more than one room could hold and were able to spread the cheer to all of the other visitation rooms on site as well!

This work was facilitated by one of the subgroups of the Travis County Children’s Protective Services Board. Asking the community to “adopt” a visitation room is one of the many wonderful activities support by the board. Beth Gerlach, our Associate Director serves on the Travis County Children’s Protective Services Board. The board is comprised of up to 15 members appointed by the Travis County Commissioners for three-year terms. Board members volunteer their time and skills to advocate for the protection and wellbeing of those in the care of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Child Protective Services Division in Travis County.

 

We’d like to especially thank the following groups who donated this time around:
TXICFW friends & supporters
Austin Mom’s Network
Ladies with Babies
Partners in Parenting (PIP) Moms

We will be taking ongoing donations throughout the year and will always be in need of supplies to replenish the rooms.  Some of our most needed items include:

  • Games (especially games that teens would be interested in!)
  • Art supplies (colors, coloring books, pencils, drawing paper, etc)
  • Books (especially interactive books with riddles, games, etc)

If you would like to donate items we can arrange a pickup or you are welcome to drop off at our office – Texas Institute for Child and Family Wellbeing, 3001 Lake Austin Blvd, Ste 1.204A, Austin, TX 78703. To arrange a time to meet please contact Shannon Mann at shannon.mann@austin.utexas.edu.

Monetary donations can be mailed to the same address (Attn: Shannon Mann)