A Bryan-based child advocacy group received a financial boost from the state on Wednesday.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott awarded a grant of $28,968 to Voices for Children, Inc. to help parents without custody, stay involved in and positively shape their children's lives. Voices for Children, Inc. will use the funding to provide a neutral setting for children and their parents to visit.
"I am devoted to ensuring that Texas children receive the stability and comfort that comes from having two parents working together to care for them," said Attorney General Abbott. "This grant will help parents without custody maintain close ties with their children and provide the structure children need to feel happy and secure."
The federally funded Access and Visitation grants are administered by the Attorney General's Division for Families and Children. This year's grants, totaling more than $500,000, were awarded to private nonprofit organizations and local governments across Texas.
The awards will fund services that help never-married, divorced or separated parents put aside their personal differences for the good of their children. Approved services include early intervention; co-parenting education; alternative dispute resolution; and visitation enforcement. Providing funding to local organizations is a way the Attorney General's Office helps children whose parents are engaged in custody or visitation disputes, since federal dollars to run the child support program cannot be used to handle these matters.
"Our partnership with Voices for Children, Inc. helps us reach families and children in ways we couldn't do alone," Attorney General Abbott added. "Children need the opportunity to spend time with both parents. This grant will help Brazos Valley moms and dads maintain important family connections."
Texas has received Access and Visitation funding from the federal government since 1997. This year's grantees were selected based on their ability to provide priority services identified by a statewide team of family law judges, court administrators, directors of county domestic relations offices, and child support program officials.