The Child Advocates of Fort Bend has moved into two temporary locations while the center at 5403 Ave. N., Rosenberg, is undergoing a remodeling and expansion project to accommodate double-digit growth the agency has experienced over the last few years.

The growth the CAFB has seen is directly related to the number of abused children and their families coming forward in need of help. From 2017-18 alone, the agency saw an increase of 23% of children who were helped with a 20% increase from 2016-17, CEO Ruthanne Mefford said.

“Every year we are experiencing double digit growth of 20% or higher, so after a number of years we’ve been experiencing this, we realized that we’re essentially going to double in the next four-five years,” Mefford said.

With the remodel and expansion officially underway as of April 22, the center will gain more space with an increase from 18,000 square feet to 27,000 square feet, Mefford said. The goal is to reopen by the end of this year.

The CAFB will double the number of forensic interview rooms and viewing rooms as well as add new spaces for family meeting rooms. The agency will also expand its training capacity to recruit and train more volunteers for the Court Appointed Special Advocates program.

“We have a waitlist of kids, which was another big factor,” Mefford said. “We just really do not want any child who has had the courage to step up and tell their story to then have to wait in line to get help.”

The CAFB launched an $8 million capital campaign that had a nonpublic phase, during which the George Foundation—a Fort Bend County nonprofit that invests in bettering the local community—donated $2 million. The campaign went public in April, and as of April 24, $6 million has been raised, Mefford said.

“It’s really going to position the county to be in the forefront of this issue,” she said. “We have been considered a best-practices model for the state for many years, but we were really being stretched the past few years at the point where we just were really struggling to be able to serve every child. We’ll be well positioned for the future.”

During the remodeling and expansion construction period, CAFB staff is operating out of two temporary locations. The Children’s Advocacy Center, which employs a professional staff of clinicians and social workers, is located at 6415 Reading Road, Rosenberg, and the rest of the team is located at 1422 Eugene Heimann Circle, Richmond.

Mefford said the agency anticipated adding 50% more staff over the next several years. For more information about CAFB, visit