LUBBOCK, Texas (KAMC) – The Family Guidance & Outreach Center has focused on ending child abuse in the South Plains since the early 1980s. They use parenting and anger management and school-based courses. But, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve had to cancel several events that fund these types of programs.
In 2019 alone, there were 1,217 confirmed cases of child abuse in Lubbock County. That means every day, three children are confirmed victims of child abuse. Family Guidance & Outreach Executive Director Abby Reed says these numbers alone are why the non-profit is so important.
“We essentially want to give families the tools that they need to feel empowered and educated,” Reed said.
She says the early intervention programs are especially important. Representatives from the organization go into the schools and talk to students about a variety of topics like “anger, bullying, self-esteem, goal-setting, leadership, and anger management.” Reed says this type of education helps students identify if they might be a victim of child abuse and it also aims to help make sure these students don’t turn to abuse when they’re responsible for a child.
But, it takes funds to keep these programs going. Those funds typically come from a number of fundraisers held throughout the year, all of which had to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Reed says their signature event, the Blue Ribbon Rally, typically brings in $100,000. The blue flag campaign is another event that was canceled due to the pandemic. Other major events that were planned for the fall “out of an abundance of caution,” according to Reed.
” I don’t want to say we’re scrambling, but we’re really hurting and if we’re not able to have those events in 2021, there’s times I lay awake at night and worry about the future of our agency,” Reed said.
You can make a donation to the Family Guidance & Outreach Center online.