PILOT POINT — The Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County received a financial commitment from the Pilot Point City Council this week, making it the first in a series of commitments the agency hopes to collect this year.
This is the first commitment made by the Pilot Point City Council, which even agreed to pay last year’s request.
Every year the advocacy center sends various requests for financial support to city councils across the county.
Argyle, Lewisville, Lake Dallas, Corinth, Krum and Denton are among the cities that have shown continued support.
Pilot Point Police Chief Ric Sadler said the advocacy center is valuable to law enforcement because it helps protect and save children.
“There’s a real benefit to having it in the county,” he said. “There’s definitely a need for it.”
The center serves families impacted by violence and sexual abuse of children. Executive director Dan Leal said he expects the center will assist about 800 victims this year.
“That’s a lot of people, and that’s not even counting the counseling session services we will have to conduct,” he said.
The agency tailors its request by city, using a formula derived from the agency’s remaining expenses after federal and state funding are exhausted.
“The requests aren’t bills. They are just a voluntary request for help,” Leal said. “If a city doesn’t pay the request, we’re not going to not serve them. They’re just a way to say we could use your support.”
The agency expects to have about $344,000 in state and federal funding, while having more than $1 million in expenses.
CAC officials are requesting $665,000 for their 2012-13 budget, but they might have to wait until city council budgets are built to see what they can get.
“We have not collected any funds, so far. Many of the cities wait until their next fiscal year, which for most is Oct. 1, to give us funding,” Leal said.
The agency collected more than $310,200 in 2011-12 and about $212,000 the year before.
“We would be happy to meet the amount contributed by cities last year,” Leal said.
The center will conduct about 9,000 counseling sessions between its Denton and Lewisville offices, and Leal expects the amount to increase as the population grows.
“As we spread awareness and educate people to prevent child abuse, we expect more people to come to us seeking help,” he said. “The numbers will eventually go down, but that could be another 10 to 15 years.”
When the right services are available, a person is more likely to report child abuse, Leal said.
“It’s our job to work with area cities and spread awareness,” he said.
JOHN HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
BY THE NUMBERS
The following are the amounts of which the Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County is requesting from each city:
Double Oak: $4,394
Flower Mound: $26,873
Hickory Creek: $3,014
Highland Village: $8,253
Lake Dallas: $21,211
Little Elm: $37,662
Pilot Point: $535