Child Advocates of Fort Bend Volunteer Council Named Child Advocate of the Year

Child Advocates of Fort Bend CEO Ruthanne Mefford and Board President Dr. Betty Baitland are shown with members of the Volunteer Council. CAFB’s Volunteer Council was honored as Child Advocate of the Year during the agency’s annual Volunteer Banquet. Shown front row, from left, areChild Advocates of Fort Bend CEO Ruthanne Mefford, Board President Dr. Betty Baitland, Rhonda Kuykendall and Rosalind Baldwin. Back row, from left, are Alexis Jackson, Margie Adolph, Kathy Eyring, Judy Ronning, Nancy Dale, Alice Washington, Susan Richardson and Julia Saller. Not pictured are Carrie Fix and Priti Parikh.

Members of Child Advocates of Fort Bend’s Volunteer Council have been honored as the Child Advocates of the Year for 2019.

They were recognized during the Child Advocates of Fort Bend’s annual volunteer celebration held at Sweetwater Country Club.

The event was attended by more than 200 volunteers, community partners and staff.

“This group of volunteers embodies the mission and passion for the work that we do. They have gone above and beyond and their actions and influence will have long-lasting impact for the children we serve and for our community,” according to Child Advocates of Fort Bend Chief Executive Officer Ruthanne Mefford. “For years, they have provided mentorship to our newly-trained program volunteers and are available for ongoing counsel and support to any volunteer who wishes to discuss specifics and challenges they might be encountering.

“Collectively, they bring decades of experience working with children, with CPS and with the courts so they understand the nuances and how to advocate for the ‘best interests’ of children who come from hard places. They host orientations and welcome receptions for volunteers throughout the year so that everyone gets to know each other and socialize in a relaxed setting. This has proven to be a wonderful way to strengthen the ‘family” that is Child Advocates of Fort Bend.

Individually, they serve as CASA advocates, CAC Volunteers, Voices for Children Ambassadors, Legislative Advocacy Team Chair, Christmas Home Tour Hostesses and Gala Volunteers. In 2019, with all the upheaval with our moves to temporary offices and dislocation while having some very emotional cases, they decided to take on a new initiative. Each month they handmade the cutest, most thoughtful artisan “thank you’ gifts and then stopped by to deliver them to staff. This kind act was a wonderful boost to staff morale.

Other honorees at the volunteer celebration included Sheri Walters (CASA Volunteer of the Year), Julia Saller (Children’s Advocacy Center Volunteer of the Year), Liz Furman (Event Volunteer of the Year) and Dexter McCoy (Voices for Children Ambassador of the Year). Rhonda Kuykendall was named Legislative Advocate of the Year. Judge Jamie Rawlinson was the recipient of the Mariel Barrera Champion for Children Award. Barrera, a longtime employee of Child Advocates of Fort Bend passed away in early 2017.

To see a list of all of the honorees or to learn more about volunteer opportunities with Child Advocates of Fort Bend, go to

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