Alliance For Children: A Story of Impact in the Community
This year Alliance For Children is celebrating our 25th anniversary. Since 1992, Alliance For Children has been serving children and families in the community through teamed investigations, healing services and community education. We have provided assistance to over 50,000 children in the past 25 years and look forward to continuing to serve our community.
As we look back on our past, we asked one of our longest employees to reflect on some of her experiences in working with this agency.
Diana Davis, Director of Clinical Services, has been part of the Alliance For Children team since 1999 and has a wealth of experience and knowledge about our history.
Diana was hired as a Program Director with the responsibility of implementing group counseling and family advocacy programs at Alliance For Children. When Diana started her work, all clients were referred to outside agencies for healing services. Within a month of joining Alliance For Children, Diana started a group counseling program which initially included three groups held in Arlington. At the time, Alliance For Children housed one Family Advocate who provided case management to families across our three centers. Through the years, Alliance For Children programs grew and were able to provide additional services that expanded the number of children we were able to serve. Today, our group counseling program looks very different. We now have a large Clinical Program and Family Advocate Program offering multiple services to families in need. We highly encourage our readers to tour one of our centers and learn about the great work done by our dedicated team.
Below are Diana’s reflections over the 18 years of her work at Alliance For Children:
To say I have seen a lot over the years is definitely an understatement. I have watched Alliance For Children grow from 10 employees to what is now over 60 staff members. I have seen programs added, new buildings built and absolutely every square inch of space used to its fullest capacity. I have seen tears shed over a devastating situation of child abuse as well as tears of joy shed over a successful outcome after a traumatic event for a child and family. I have seen pictures and have heard so many stories that would give anyone nightmares. I have seen the Alliance For Children team come together and do their absolute best and finest work to help a child. I have seen children come to our center with no affect and little hope only to regain the twinkle in their eyes as they successfully complete counseling sessions and graduate from our counseling program. I have seen our Board of Directors and Alliance For Children leadership listen to not only the needs of our partners and staff, but also to our clients and ultimately- our Tarrant County community. I have seen the continued commitment of Alliance For Children to offer free services to our clients despite the enormous cost to the agency. I have seen this agency commit to serving families in the best way possible and by doing so, making a direct impact and investment in our community.
I honestly never dreamed that I would be here 18 years. I still remember the day that I interviewed for the position of Program Director at Alliance For Children. At the time, I did not know what a children’s advocacy center was. I left the interview thinking- this is a place I could work for, a cause that I can stand behind and something I can be passionate about. Today, 18 years later, I still feel the same way. I am often asked how I work with child abuse and trauma every day. The truth is that it is not easy. This is without a doubt some of the hardest, emotionally draining, give you gray hair kind of work that you can ever do. People tell me, “you couldn’t pay me all of the money in the world to do your job” and honestly, my response is- you couldn’t pay me all of the money in the world to not do it. There are ups and downs and there are good and bad times for sure. But there is a reward!
The reward is in keeping children safe. The reward is in the arrest and conviction of an offender who will no longer harm that child or possibly your child. The reward lies within this team, who work tirelessly together as one, for the good of the child. The reward is in the education programs which bring awareness and prevention to our community. The reward is in the healing process through case management and counseling.
For me, there has been no greater reward than to see the sparkle return to children’s eyes after finding support and healing in a traumatic situation. To see their faces light up with a genuine smile and to hear their laughter return is pure joy. For a child to know, understand and believe that the abuse they endured was not their fault, to see their self-esteem and self-worth return is truly priceless. That is a reward in and of itself.
The children that come to our centers have a journey that I would not wish for any child, but for those who walk through our doors, I want to say--It is an honor and a blessing to be there for each and every one of you.
So, yes I have seen a lot of changes over the past 18 years. What has remained the same has been the commitment of Alliance For Children to serve the children and families of Tarrant County in the best way possible. The growth of the agency over the years, the expansion and addition of new programs, and all of the changes has always been with this commitment in mind.