BURNET — As far as organizations go, the Burnet County Child Welfare Board deals with the most precious citizens of the community: our children.
The all-volunteer board has one mission: “To know the needs and to aid in the implementation of a program for the protection, care, health and well-being of all children with the focus being given to the abused and neglected children of Burnet County.”
With April being Child Abuse Prevention Month, symbolized by a blue ribbon, board president Marsha Neel said it’s important that the community not only knows child abuse and neglect exist, but that people can be part of the solution.
“As much as we want to think it does not happen here, children are abused and neglected in Burnet County,” she said. “We, as family, friends and neighbors of these children, are the first line of defense for them. We see what is happening and need to be there to protect these innocent kids.”
The board helps educate people about the signs of child abuse and points citizens in the directions of the various organizations for these children.
“Each of us can involve ourselves in helping these children by becoming aware of signs of abuse and neglect and by being willing to get involved,” Neel said.
The involvement level depends on each person. But there is a place for everyone to help prevent child abuse.
People can attend a Burnet County Child Welfare Board meeting to learn about opportunities to assist. The board meets 11 a.m. the second Wednesday of each month at the Hill Country Children’s Advocacy Center, 1001 N. Hill St. in Burnet.
The board works with other children’s agencies in the county and across the Highland Lakes to promote activities that help abused and neglected youth.
The board members also do things as simple as sending birthday cards to all Burnet County children in foster care. They also partner with the Court Appointed Special Advocates for the Highland Lakes Area to host a Christmas party for the children.
The board members answer questions and pass out literature during events such as Kids Day in Burnet and Children’s Day in Marble Falls.
The board also helps maintain the Rainbow Room at the Burnet County Child Protective Services office in Burnet. The room provides CPS staff with immediate resources such as children’s clothing, diapers and baby formula and other needs. Sometimes when CPS removes a child or children, the kids leave with just a few items, so staff can obtain other necessities from the Rainbow Room.
Helping out could be as simple as donating new items to the Rainbow Room. For more information on assisting the room, call (512) 756-6006.