Senator Jane Nelson
P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
Fax (512) 463-0923

NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 30, 2012
Contact: Addie Smith, (512) 463-0112

SENATOR NELSON HONORED FOR CHILD PROTECTION EFFORTS

AUSTIN — Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, received the first-ever "One with Courage" Award from the Tarrant Alliance for Children at an event last night in Fort Worth.

"Senator Nelson is receiving the Alliance for Children's first-ever 'One With Courage Award' in recognition of her tenacity, stalwart leadership, and advocacy on behalf of our center, the 2,300-plus child victims we serve each year and the network of 65 Texas children's advocacy centers," said Nancy Hagan, Executive Director of Alliance for Children. "By preserving the critical state appropriation dedicated for Texas Children's Advocacy centers, Senator Nelson has helped to ensure that in the next year almost 40,000 children in Texas will receive the services they need to recover from abuse, and local agencies investigating and prosecuting crimes against children will have the support and tools they need to bring these difficult cases to an appropriate outcome."

During the 2011 session, Senator Nelson worked to expand mental health services for child victims of abuse and neglect and increase funding for Child Protective Services caseworkers and foster care. Despite difficult budget challenges, she fought to fully fund the Crime Victims Compensation Fund, which supports child advocacy centers and other programs who work with victims of abuse, neglect or other crimes. Last month, legislators were warned that funding for this initiative was in jeopardy. Senator Nelson worked in concert with the Health and Human Services Commission, the Office of the Attorney General, and the Legislative Budget Board to identify state resources to ensure the fund is solvent through this biennium.

"In a difficult economy, we tend to see higher instances of neglect and abuse, which is why it is so critical that we work together to protect children and to ensure that funding continues for the programs supported by the Crime Victims Compensation Fund," said Senator Nelson. "The Tarrant County Alliance for Children and its counterparts across the state worked tirelessly behind the scenes to support our efforts, and I am grateful for all that this organization does to ensure that abused children in Tarrant County have access to justice, hope and healing."

The Tarrant County Alliance for Children is a non-profit working to protect children from abuse through community education, teamed investigations, and healing resources for families and children. Information about the organization's work is available at www.allianceforchildren.org.

SENATOR JANE NELSON represents District 12, including portions of Tarrant and Denton Counties. She is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services.

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