A very specific way clergy and members can get involved with the child welfare issue is through Clergy in the Court for Kids.
This program is designed to help clergy and the faith communities become aware of the increasing needs of families that come to the attention of Child Protective Services by allowing them to view court proceedings, according to information provided by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
The department is partnering with judges across the state to provide personal invitations to clergy and faith community members to view court proceedings.
Those people who participate in the program would hear a brief introduction from the judge on the day of the hearing and go through a debriefing session with the judge, a DFPS staff member and a Court Appointed Special Advocate at the end of the day.
The purpose is twofold, according to the agency. It allows judges to learn about the community resource opportunities faith communities can provide families.
Second, it gives the faith community an opportunity to see the many needs children and families face while going through the child welfare system and gives them an opportunity to respond.
Judges are asked to provide the opportunity at least four times a year.
Those clergy and faith community members who are interested in taking part in this program should contact Tonya Fuller at 903-683-3847 or by email at Tonya.Fuller@dfps.state.tx.us.