This morning, Alliance For Children, the children’s advocacy center serving Tarrant County, dedicated a 24,000-square-foot addition to its investigative building and the renovated 5,000-square-foot original center both located in Arlington at 1312/1320 W. Abram, adding significant capacity and elevation to the agency’s programs and services. Alongside its staff, Board of Directors, partners, and supporters, Alliance For Children hosted remarks, a ceremonial ribbon cutting, and tours to officially open both renovated buildings on Wednesday, October 25 at 8:30 am.
This 28,000 square-foot investigative center serves Arlington and the surrounding cities and houses various Alliance For Children staff members, two units of Child Protective Investigations, and Arlington Police Department’s Crimes Against Children and Human Exploitation and Trafficking Units, all dedicated to these criminal level cases of child abuse. The original 5,000-square-foot center where Alliance For Children served their first child, has been renovated to serve as a Clinical space for children to move toward healing. Both buildings are located on the same property.
Julie Evans, Alliance For Children’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “Alliance For Children is proud to serve Tarrant County’s tiniest citizens and provide hope and healing to families. These expanded and updated centers allow us to create a safe, child-friendly campus in the heart of the growing Arlington-area of the community. This location served our first child over 30 years ago, and we are honored to better support the thousands of children who will walk through our doors as part of their child abuse investigation in the coming years. Our hope is that each of them are better protected, and families are healed from the devastating effects of child abuse and trauma because of our efforts.”
To recognize the significant and longstanding partnership with the City of Arlington, coupled with their support of the project, the expanded investigative center has been named for the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation.
Some elements of the new location:
• Space for growing partnerships and staff
• Room to bring the counseling department back in-house
• Updated technology, including recordings of forensic interviews, uploading children’s drawings or written evidence into e-files, digitizing information (no paper files)
• Better soundproofing in both child victim and perpetrator interview rooms to ensure privacy and preservation of recordings
• Arlington Police Department digital forensics lab solely serving these cases
• More safety and protective measures incorporated through the center
• Enhanced child-friendly lobbies, including a helicopter cab play-space donated by Bell Textron
• New play and art therapy rooms
Tanya Merlino, Alliance For Children’s President of the Board of Directors, added, “The opening of these updated and expanded buildings on our Arlington campus reinforces the concept that a building is so much more than bricks and mortar. It is a catalyst for change and a safe and welcoming place for children and families together to begin to heal from the trauma of abuse. We are very excited and proud of this place, and we are grateful to all that made it possible.”
A special thanks to the major contributors to the Arlington campus: City of Arlington/Arlington Tomorrow Foundation, Amon G. Carter Foundation, and Women Inspiring Philanthropy.
Alliance For Children is the only Tarrant County non-profit organization directly involved in protecting children from child abuse through coordinated and teamed investigations with 36 local law enforcement jurisdictions, Cook Children’s Healthcare System, JPS Health Network, Texas Health Resources, the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office, Tarrant County Juvenile Services, and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
Through this multi-disciplinary teamed approach, the organization proactively and cohesively investigates and provides healing for victims of child abuse in the greater Arlington area. This model is replicated in both Hurst and Fort Worth to better serve the growing population of Tarrant County—all services to victims are completely free of charge.
Arlington-based Hutcherson Construction provided construction services and LBL Architects delivered architecture services for the project.
About Alliance for Children:
Alliance For Children is the children’s advocacy center serving all of Tarrant County. Since 1992, more than 65,000 children have benefited from Alliance For Children’s teamed investigations and coordinated approach. The nonprofit organization operates child-friendly centers located in Arlington, Fort Worth and Northeast Tarrant County. Its mission is to protect Tarrant County children from child abuse through teamed investigations, healing services and community education. Alliance For Children is a fully accredited member of National Children’s Alliance®, a membership association of over 700 children’s advocacy centers and is a founding member of Children’s Advocacy Centers™ of Texas.