“Case workers are on the frontlines”: Mask collection underway for workers investigating child abuse

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Updated: Apr. 8, 2020 at 9:41 AM CDT
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WHITEHOUSE, Texas (KLTV) - The need for protective masks is greater than it has been in decades and one East Texas organization is looking to get those masks into the hands of CPS case workers.

“Right now what we know is there are so many first responders who are helping and some of those who are not getting as much attention are our CPS case workers,” said Justin Hayes with the Fostering Collective. “We heard about the need for masks and we simply put out the plea that we want to be a group that cares about the need for foster kids in the foster community.”

The Fostering Collective is an organization based in Whitehouse. They provide a wide range of necessities for children who abruptly enter child protective care with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.

Their new goal is to raise 100 masks specifically for case workers investigating possible child abuse.

“[Case workers] are going into homes," said Hayes. If there is any report of abuse, they need to be able to get into those homes.”

Hayes told us the project comes at an appropriate time given April is Child Abuse Awareness Month.

“Whenever school is session, teachers can usually notice things, signs of child abuse," said Hayes. "Right now with the quarantine there’s not going to be as much of that, so we all need to be on the alert.”

If a child is taken from a potentially abusive situation, Hayes explained to us the foster families also need a level of protection from the outside world.

“So many of these families are taking new children in the middle of this quarantine,” Hayes said. “These are children that they may have never met before, and yet now they’re in their home 24/7 and they are trying to provide a stable environment for these children in the midst of uncertainty, so just to be praying for them.”

Their operation is starting in house, and they’re hoping anyone with the appropriate supplies will help, too.

“One of our staff members, Christi Sowell, she got her girls working on it,” said Hayes. “If we can get to 100 that’s wonderful. If we can get over a 100 that will be even better.”

For more information on how you can donate masks or to volunteer your time with The Fostering Collective, click here.

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