Number Of Montague Co. Kids In Need On The Rise

Meth is a growing problem in Montague County and now we're beginning to see the toll it's having on Texoma children.

Newschannel 6 Lindsey Rogers met with a member of the Montague County Child Welfare Board who said the number of kids they serve has doubled from just one year ago.

"Right now we have a virtual epidemic in Montague County and the reason is meth is the core result," Clint Brown said.

Brown is the chairman for the Child Welfare Board.  He said the past couple of years they served around 60 children at a time, that number is now more than 120 a month.

"It's a very critical situation right now," Brown said.

The board is made up of 15 volunteers appointed by County Commissioners.

"Our responsibility is to act on behalf of abused or neglected children. To provide them with social, economic, health, educational needs. Typically through C.P.S. but also independently," Brown said.

That could mean clothes, food, school supplies or even medical expenses for the children.

Because there are now so many more of them in need, care families are having to stretch their resources.  In some circumstances, the Child Welfare Board will help those families with utilities if they find themselves in a bind.

"Whatever the children need to survive and get by after they've been removed from their homes," Brown said.

We talked with Montague County Sheriff Paul Cunningham who is also on the board.

Recently, programs like Wise Eyes are encouraging citizens to report more crime.

Sheriff Cunningham told us those reports are leading to more busts.

"Our sheriff here has been very aggressively prosecuting meth cases and drug cases in the county and of course because of that, there are now more kids in the system," Brown said.

While meth is one cause of the displacement of Montague children, Sheriff Cunningham said they are still seeing cases of physical and sexual abuse and neglect.

In order to provide for all these children in need, the board needs an at least a $20,000 to $30,000 budget.

"Absent the money, they essentially do without," Brown said.

To raise the tens of thousands of dollars needed to provide for the hundreds of children in need, the Montague County Child Welfare Board is throwing two separate fundraising events.

The first is Saturday Sept., 18th at Daddy Sam's in Nocona.

There will be a gala with a dinner and live auction. Recording artist and popular Texas band, 1100 Springs will also be in concert.

The following weekend the board will benefit from the Western Heritage Roundup in Bowie, which includes a ranch rodeo. It will be at the Bowie Rodeo Arena.  The Saturday rodeo competition begins at 6p.m. and 2p.m. on Sunday.

Ranch rodeo teams can enter at 940-995-7261 or e-mail Tickets to the gala can be purchased at the Bowie or Nocona Chambers of Commerce, 872-1173.

Lindsey Rogers, Newschannel 6