Fannin children advocates recognized


BONHAM — The Fannin County Children’s Center and Detective Terry Bee with the Bonham Police Department recently received statewide recognition for their efforts to serve abused and neglected children.

The Children’s Center was recognized at the Texas Court Appointed Special Advocates Conference for being one of only four programs in the state to serve 100 percent of children in custody of Child Protective Services with 100 percent volunteers in the fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2012. Another five programs were recognized for serving at least 90 percent of children in CPS care with at least 90 percent volunteers. In all, there are 69 CASA programs in Texas that collectively serve only about half of the children in foster care.

Bee received honorable mention recognition from the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas for his work investigating crimes against children. Bee has been affiliated with the Children’s Advocacy Center in Fannin County, which is part of the FCCC, since it was created in 1999.

“We appreciate Terry’s dedication to protecting children for so many years,” FCCC Executive Director Sandy Barber said. “Terry is a team player who has earned the respect of the local multidisciplinary team, as is demonstrated by the fact that he was selected by the them as team member of the year in 2009 and as a finalist for the award three other times.”

Judge Lauri Blake of the 336th District Court was one of only six judges nominated for the Judge of the Year award at the Texas CASA Conference. Blake hears all of the cases involving Fannin County children in CPS custody and appoints CASA to serve as guardian ad litem for these children.

“Even though she may not have won the award, we appreciate Judge Blake’s dedication to protecting children, too,” Barber said. “She listens intently to the cases before her and looks for ways to ensure that the children in CPS care are getting everything they need, including getting them moved to permanent, safe homes as quickly as possible. She also helps us train new CASA volunteers.”

Barber was one of only two people nominated for the Texas CASA Go Give Award. She was the award winner last year and was nominated this year by the CASA director from Denton County. The award is given to CASA directors who reach out and help other directors or programs across the state.

More information on the Fannin County Children’s Center may be obtained at fanninccc.org.