Trauma Informed Task Force Moves Forward in Montgomery County
CONROE, TX – The Trauma Informed Montgomery County Task Force held its inaugural meeting on Friday, September 10, 2021, at the CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County offices in downtown Conroe. Representatives from about a dozen county agencies make up the Task Force, including the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, the District Attorney’s Office, the County Court of Law #3 which is Montgomery County’s dedicated child welfare court, the Department of Family and Protective Services, CASA, Montgomery ISD, and Conroe ISD, among others.
The Trauma Informed Montgomery County Task Force, initiated by CASA Executive Director Ann Marie Ronsman, is the result of more than three years of efforts to educate and inform the community about the impact of childhood trauma and the need to come together to better serve vulnerable children in Montgomery County.
“This task force has been many years in the making. We have so many good agencies working on behalf of children in Montgomery County,” explains Ronsman. “Raising awareness about childhood trauma is the first step. I couldn’t be more thrilled by the willingness of the leaders of our community to participate in this initiative.”
Childhood trauma is an event that can have negative, lasting effects on a child’s physical and mental health. Sixty percent of children in the United States have been exposed to violence, crime, or abuse. Traumatic events can include but are not limited to physical, sexual, or emotional abuse; domestic violence; witnessing violence or crime; and/or witnessing a fatality. Trauma can increase the risk for engagement in negative coping behaviors and increased risk for chronic mental health and physical health problems.
“The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office is committed to protecting and advocating for children. Part of being an advocate is making sure our community is aware of the traumatic impacts of abuse and neglect and engaging our community in helping children heal,” says District Attorney Brett Ligon. “I am excited about the good work the Trauma Informed Montgomery County Task Force will do for children in our county.”
Ronsman says this meeting is just the beginning for this group of community leaders. The Task Force will continue their efforts to create a trauma-informed Montgomery County and is planning several community awareness and education events for the year ahead.
Under the leadership of District Attorney, Brett Ligon, the Trial Bureau of the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office consists of personnel divided into four divisions, the Felony Trial Division, the Misdemeanor Trial Division, the Special Crimes Division, and the Special Victims Division. The Legal Services Bureau of the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office consists of personnel divided into the Intake Section and the Appellate Section. These bookend sections play critical roles at the start and the conclusion of criminal cases. Learn more at www.mctxdao.org.
CASA Child Advocates is Montgomery County’s only organization appointed by the court to advocate for abused and neglected children. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) speak up for the best interest of children who have been removed from their home and are under the Court’s jurisdiction. CASA’s goal is to provide a court appointed volunteer to serve as Guardian ad Litem for every child in the foster care system, and to break the cycle of abuse, one child at a time. For the past 29 years, CASA has been training volunteers, raising awareness in the community, and working to end the cycle of child abuse in Montgomery County. Learn more about CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County at www.CASASpeaks4Kids.com.