SA Children’s Court garners sizable donation

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Judge Peter Sakai of the 225th District Court, San Antonio’s Children’s Court, addresses Bexar County Commissioners Court after receiving a $30,000 donation to early-childhood intervention programs. (Photo/Kristian Jaime)

With another sizable donation, San Antonio’s Children’s Court bolstered its mission to help the most vulnerable in the community.

The $30,000 donation by Temple Beth-El through the Hidalgo Foundation of Bexar County will be earmarked for programs to reunify families after the Children’s Court has intervened for a number of reason such as addiction, abuse or abandonment.

“We want to thank Bexar County Commissioners Court and Temple Beth-El. We have a court that is cutting edge in terms of determining and dispensing social services. Our court is dedicated to uniting families,” said Judge Peter Sakai of the 225th District Court.

For its part, the non-profit Hidalgo Foundation, founded 15 years ago by Tracy Wolff, operates exclusively for the charitable, literary, historical, and educational purpose for the sole benefit of Bexar County, Texas.

The targeted group for these funds are children zero to three years-old. These young victims have been separated from their biological parents due to instances of abuse or abandonment. The goal of the court is to provide rehabilitation for parents so they may again receive custody of their children.

“Bexar County is leading the way [with our Children’s Court] to show how best to deal with families in difficult situations. Through all these [partnerships], we have been able to develop these programs,” continued Judge Sakai.

Children’s Court encompasses a number of entities that includes Family Drug Court and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to name a few. Municipal dollars have accounted for $4 million of its budget with private donations adding another $3 million. Even now, the the programs which benefit from the philanthropic effort are seeking additional funding from the state.

To date, the efforts by the court have reduced the number of child protective lawsuits by 25 percent. Court appointed attorney fees also top $3 million and the Child Protective Services (CPS) workload only grows.

“Thank you to [all the people] behind building such an exceptional program in Children’s Court,” concluded Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff.

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