Fort Worth-based ACH Child and Family Services (ACH) is celebrating the completion of its master plan with the opening of the Jo and Holt Hickman Center on Thursday, Mar. 22. The venue, which was once the dining hall of the historic Fort Worth Masonic Home School, has been repurposed into a training center, event venue and offices.
This will be the first time ACH is able to host its annual Lend A Hand luncheon on its own campus. Lend A Hand is designed to increase awareness of April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The event’s keynote speaker is Jenna Quinn, the namesake of Jenna’s Law, the first child sexual abuse prevention education law named after a survivor.
The Hickman Center will be home to The Rees-Jones Center for Excellence in Child Welfare, which will bring high-quality training to the ACH workforce as well as community professionals and families caring for children. The goal is to increase child permanency and security through faster reunification with the biological or adoptive family.
Dr. Wayne Carson, CEO of ACH, said in a press release that the building is not just a location, but a place that will continue to bring the community together in many ways.
“When our children who are staying at our Youth Emergency Shelter need to take classes on how to better manage their anger, they will come to this building. When we have couples who are considering adopting children or becoming foster parents, they will come to this building for training. Our board members and staff will come to this building to make strategic decisions. And when people get married in our chapel, they will come here for their receptions to celebrate the new beginning. This building will help bring a community together.”
The dining hall renovation was the last piece of ACH’s master plan to rejuvenate its campuses with much-needed new buildings and improvements to continue serving the needs of the community. The Pat O’Neal Youth Emergency Shelter was completed in December 2015, with the ability to house 250 youth annually, and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. The Virginia and Meto Miteff Family Home, completed in 2016, serves as a safe place for young women transitioning from foster care to learn independence and gain confidence before living on their own.
*Photos courtesy of ACH Child and Family Services.
ABOUT ACH CHILD AND FAMILY SERVICES
ACH Child and Family Services, a Fort Worth-based nonprofit agency, is dedicated to protecting children and preserving families. Abuse and neglect are significant problems in the communities ACH serves, with Tarrant County suffering from the third highest number of abused children of any county in Texas. With over a century of experience, ACH brings needed resources and skills to children and families struggling with life’s challenges. Some ACH programs keep children and families together while others provide a healing home for children who can’t live with their families. And through the Our Community, Our Kids division, ACH is pioneering Community-Based Care in seven counties of the Texas foster care system. The vision of ACH is for families to thrive and children to experience safety, hope and love. Find out more by visiting the organization’s website.