New Campaign Prevents Child Abuse with a Helping Hand for Parents

For Immediate Release: July 2, 2012
Contact: DFPS Media Specialists


see more at www.HelpandHope.org

When parents hurt, kids get hurt.  But, when parents get help, there's hope for kids. That's why the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) has launched a new campaign called Help for Parents, Hope for Kids.

"This is a first for Texas - a campaign designed to stop abuse before it happens by helping parents deal with many of the stresses and problems that contribute to child abuse or neglect," says DFPS Commissioner Howard Baldwin.  "Our goal is to inspire parents to seek help, and then show them where to find help in their communities."

Using a federal grant, DFPS will spend $2,400,000 on the campaign. This includes a summer-long advertising and social media blitz that will reach millions of Texas parents and encourage them to visit HelpandHope.org or the Spanish website, AyudayEsperanza.org.  Advertising is in both English and Spanish and includes TV, radio, online, billboards, transit, movie theatres, and retail stores.  The social media campaign features daily posts and tweets on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. TV ads and parent testimonials are on YouTube and the websites, and there's even a contest on Facebook to encourage people to spread the message and learn more.

At HelpandHope.org, parents will find Real Stories of Hope - powerful video testimonials of parents who are facing their demons, getting help to break the cycle or abuse, and working to build stronger, healthier families.

“These courageous stories mirror what we see on a daily basis," says Audrey Deckinga, DFPS assistant commissioner for Child Protective Services.  "All parents struggle and many times abuse or neglect happens when well-meaning parents are overwhelmed and don't get the support they need.  I hope these stories inspire vulnerable parents to seek help without fear of being judged."

HelpandHope.org features a Find Help page to point parents to services and resources in their communities in categories, such as:

  • Parenting skills
  • Stress, anxiety, depression, counseling
  • Drugs and alcohol abuse
  • Jobs and child care
  • Food, clothing, housing, and health care
  • Family violence
  • Legal assistance

All these resources and services are either provided by DFPS contractors or through community partners or other agencies, including 211-Texas, Salvation Army, Goodwill Industries, Catholic Charities, Texas Workforce Commission, Texas Department of State Health Services, Texas Council on Family Violence, National Parent Hotline, the Texas Education Agency, and others. Some of these organizations will also help DFPS distribute more than a million parent tips cards and spread the campaign message in other ways.

There's also a How You Can Help page on HelpandHope.org that gives people and companies options for getting involved to help families.

2011 Texas Child Abuse Statistics

  • 6,663,942 children (0-17) in Texas
  • 195,017 completed Child Protective Services investigations
  • 65,948 confirmed victims of abuse or neglect
  • 17,108 children removed from their homes to stop abuse or neglect
  • 6,342 abused or neglected children awaiting adoption
  • 231 children who died because of abuse or neglect

For more statistics, see the DFPS 2011 Annual Report and Data Book.