Brand new family resource center in New Braunfels hopes to prevent child neglect, abuse

Foster care organization SJRC Texas runs center, says it’s open to entire community

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas – Monday was an exciting day in Comal County as a foster care organization that’s expanding rapidly throughout the state officially opened a family resource center.

SJRC Texas wants the community to know the center in New Braunfels is not just for foster families.

“Anybody who needs services or resources, it is available to them. We welcome walk-ins. And if there’s something here that you need that we don’t have, we are going to find it for you and do a warm handoff with the local agency, your community,” said SJRC/Belong Chief Prevention Officer Jaci Gonzales.

SJRC Texas focuses on foster care and helping families affected by abuse and neglect. Their division called Belong serves as the lead provider for Community-Based Care in Region 8b that covers 27 Texas counties.

Gonzales said it’s surprisingly common for a lack of basic necessities and support to quickly lead to abuse or neglect of kids at home.

“Unfortunately, when families don’t have the tools they need, sometimes it spirals and they end up in a situation to where they can’t keep a safe home for their child,” Gonzales said.

The new SJRC Family Resource Center will ensure families get help before that trauma occurs.

A large space in the center offers free items like diapers, formula, blankets, toiletries, and clothes.

Around the corner are several clinic rooms, thanks to a partnership with UT Health San Antonio. The clinic will serve children and young adults up to 21.

The center will offer a range of parenting and education classes, as well as fitness classes like the Fit 4 Moms class with instructor and fellow mom Monica Reddout.

“It’s really neat to just have them be around moms who are in the same phase and kind of realize that they’re not alone and no matter what they’re experiencing,” Reddout said.

It’s proof that the center won’t just be somewhere to drop in, but somewhere to connect and create real support systems.

“To build these strong families so that they have the tools they need so that they don’t end up in the child welfare system,” Gonzales said.

The Family Resource Center is located at 652 Old Bear Rd. in New Braunfels.

About the Authors:

Courtney Friedman is a KSAT anchor and reporter. She has an ongoing series called Loving in Fear, confronting Bexar County’s domestic violence epidemic. She's also covered Hurricane Harvey, the shootings in Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe, and tornadoes throughout Texas. She’s a California native and proud Longhorn who loves calling SA home.

Luis Cienfuegos is a photographer at KSAT 12.