Last year, 5,499 children in Bexar County were confirmed victims of abuse/neglect. In 2020 in Texas alone, 68,461 confirmed cases for child abuse and neglect were confirmed.1 Startling statistics. So, what can we do? How can we help? Is there hope?
Yes, there’s HOPES. The United Way Healthy Outcomes Through Prevention and Early Support (HOPES) program helps parents create safe, stable and nurturing environments where children can thrive.
Recently completing a State of Texas request for proposal, United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County was awarded a minimum of $6.6 million over the next four years ($1.65 million, FY22-25)! The new award allows for the smooth transition for families and no disruption to those families served under the original 2016 grant which totaled $7.5 million for 4.5 years.
Partnering with community organizations to offer a range of free services, HOPES seeks to reduce instances of child maltreatment by helping parents with children ages 0-5 improve their parenting skills. Partner organizations provide parent education, family support, home visitation, parent groups, child/health development screenings, case management, basic needs support, transportation, and resource referrals.
HOPES is implemented through the promotion of child well-being, early childhood education and other family services, and is accomplished through community collaboration with nine agencies that last year collectively served 903 families; connecting 456 families with support services and providing developmentally appropriate text messages to 2,309 parents.
HOPES operates under a collective impact model to achieve the initiative’s objectives. San Antonio Partners include: Any Baby Can, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of San Antonio, Inc., The Center for Health Care Services, DePelchin Children’s Center, Family Service, KLRN, Martinez Street Women’s Center and Respite Care of San Antonio.
Texas HOPES success measures include: that children remain safe during services, within one year (98.8% in FY20) and three years (94.8% in FY20); and through the increase in protective factors, such as family functioning and resiliency, social supports, and nurturing/attachment (86% of caregivers in FY20).2
Child abuse and neglect are neither acceptable nor inevitable. Every child deserves the opportunity to grow up in a safe and loving environment, and every family needs a supportive and caring community to thrive.
HOPES is a Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) Program funded by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.