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A Message from the President & CEO: May 2024

By Ann Marie Ronsman, President & CEO | Child Advocates of Montgomery County
Photo of Ann Marie Ronsman

Thank you for joining us at our 2024 volunteer appreciation event in April! We loved seeing you and your loved ones and celebrating all that you’ve accomplished this past year.

Justice-Involved Youth and GOAL programs bring opportunities

May is the season of new beginnings as spring heralds the hope of new life after winter. In Texas, spring has sprung! In Wisconsin, where I am from, they are just starting to see the signs a new season is arriving. As a child, I looked forward to the pink flowers blossoming on the crab apple trees and the tulips and daffodils unfurling from the ground. My favorite blooms, though, were the lilac bushes and lily of the valley. We don’t have those here in Texas, and every year, I miss seeing their purple flowers announcing that spring is in full swing!

At Child Advocates of Montgomery County, we are in a season of new beginnings too. Our pilot programs—Justice-Involved Youth Advocacy and Gaining Opportunities for Achievement and Learning (GOAL) Advocacy for truancy—continue to expand their impact on the youth of our county. These cases bring new challenges and opportunities to help strengthen our community.

The children in JIY and truancy cases often have suffered the same trauma as the youth in child welfare cases, but they have not been removed from their homes. The youth in our JIY and GOAL programs also need a safe, stable adult to help them weather the storm. Their families desperately need advocacy to navigate their challenges and help them acquire the resources they need so their families can thrive.

It has been a joy to hear the stories of the incredible impact our volunteers are making on these cases. If you don’t have a case currently, please consider advocating for youth involved in the juvenile justice or truancy systems. Our Advocates on these cases are changing the lives of children and families.

Community-Based Care arrives

In child welfare, Community-Based Care is bringing changes to our region, Region 6. Community-Based Care (CBC) is the new Texas foster care model. It allows local communities to meet the unique needs of children and their families by tapping into the strengths and resources of each community. During this transition, most duties of Child Protective Services (CPS) will transfer to local service networks, each operated by a Single Source Continuum Contractor (SSCC). The SSCC is responsible for finding foster homes or other living arrangements for children in state care and providing a full range of services, including case management.

Other regions in Texas have already rolled out CBC. Several local large service providers have submitted contracts to serve our area. We look forward to the new opportunities CBC will bring to Child Advocates of Montgomery County. We will share much more about this in the coming months. We are unlikely to see any impact from CBC until later this year.

Thank you for all you do to preserve hope for the children and families of Montgomery County. We appreciate the time you invest and the stability you bring to our community. Happy spring!

Ann Marie Ronsman, MSN, RN | TBRI® Practitioner

President & CEO