The Wichita County Children’s Advocacy Center opened in September of 1996 by a group of community leaders, and at that time was located on Denver Street. Shortly thereafter, the Board of Directors of the center voted to honor Patsy Baggett, long time supervisor of Child Protective Services, by designating the center as “Patsy’s House Children’s Advocacy Center”. In 1998, the Board of Directors began the initial planning for expansion of the agency into a larger facility to accommodate co-location with law enforcement and Child Protective Services. In 2001, following a successful Capital Campaign, Patsy’s House bought and renovated the former Hampton Vaughn Funeral Home at 1411 Tenth Street and expanded the agency’s operation to 12,000 square feet. Rainbow House, a partner agency, moved into the west side of the building. Four Patsy’s House staff members and a contract counselor occupied the east side, along with law enforcement investigators and CPS investigators. In 2002, the Board of Directors approved a plan to expand the agency’s service area into Archer, Clay, and Montague counties of North Texas. A satellite center was opened in Bowie, Texas in late 2002. The Montague County Child Welfare Board very generously provides the building which houses our satellite office, as well as assists with maintenance and utilities. Patsy’s House is one of only a few multi-county, multi-site advocacy centers in Texas. In 2013, the Board of Directors approved a plan to expand the agency’s service area into Wilbarger County. As of September 1st , 2018, we officially began servicing Hardeman, Foard, and Baylor counties, bringing the number of counties within our official service area to eight. We also provide courtesy services any outlying counties, as well as Sheppard Air Force Base.
Patsy’s House is a non-profit organization governed by a local board of directors. Patsy’s House mission is to provide a non-residential, safe place with a neutral setting for children to meet with investigators and others when there are reports of abuse, and to meet the needs of abused, neglected and traumatized children through programs of prevention, advocacy and support. The agency provides the following comprehensive services.
- Digitally recorded professional forensic interviews
- Referral and accompaniment to the hospital for sexual assault exams (SANE) when appropriate
- Professional counseling for child victims and their non-offending family members
- Assistance with applications for Crime Victims’ Compensation
- Court orientation for child victims, child witnesses and non-offending family members
- Court accompaniment
- Comprehensive case management through disposition of criminal or protective cases and beyond
- Abuse prevention programs and training
- Information, referrals, and advocacy
Our Children’s Advocacy Center believes in the power of a multidisciplinary team approach to the intervention, investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases. We bring together law enforcement, child protective services, prosecution, nurses & doctors, social workers, licensed counselors, and forensic interviewers under the same roof to work together for children. We work as a team with Child Protective Services, Law Enforcement, Medical Personnel, Mental Health Professionals, Juvenile Probation, the County Attorney and the District Attorney to provide justice and healing for child victims.
As of 2021, Patsy’s House has six employees to assist the Executive Director in her duties of operating: Office Manager, Administrative Assistant, Administrative Specialist, Community Outreach Coordinator, Family Advocate, and Forensic Interviewer in the Wichita Falls office.