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Abilene Agency Backing Changes to Foster Care

August 2012

Children from the Abilene area in foster care may end up in foster homes closer to their home towns, if an Abilene organization, New Horizons, has its way.

As it stands now, most abused or neglected children that end up in foster care get moved to wherever the providers are, which is sometimes far from everything that they know.

New Horizons has worked with state agencies for the past year to change the policy, hoping to keep children in the same schools, churches, and with their other mentors.  New Horizons is a private agency that provides foster care.

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New Horizons Home for Abused Kids Asks for Help from Community

 Donna Loden stood at the podium and recalled the early years and abuse she suffered at the hands of those closest to her -- first from her father and then from her stepfather.

She told the Petroleum Club audience she was the product of a rape her dad had committed against her 16-year-old mother at a party one night. When she was a baby, he tried to hang her from her crib in her bedroom. Finally, her mother decided enough was enough and moved with her from New York to Lubbock.

When the father was released from prison and on probation, he found them in West Texas.

For three weeks, he abused the two again before law enforcement caught up to them and transferred him back to the East Coast. Loden's mother, who was a heavy drug user, then married another man who began to physically and sexually abuse Loden and her younger sister.

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Foster Care Panel Finalizes System Redesign

 A year of meetings, discussions and disagreements came to a close Monday.Twenty-eight members of the Public Private Partnership, assembled to improve the state's foster care system, submitted their recommendations.All recommendations submitted were required to stay within the system's $107 million budget.

For the past 21 years, Michael Redden worked in the private sector running New Horizons in Abilene. Now, he co-chairs the partnership. "In this process, the providers came together, the stakeholders that have a vested interest and work together, and in the end, I feel like we have partners. When you have a partnership, focusing on the best interest of the children, [the] children have the best opportunity for success," Redden said.
If lawmakers approve the model, it could begin rolling out by January 2012.

Organization receives praise of Angels in Adoption


New Horizons has been honored as an Angel in Adoption by U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer for outstanding advocacy of adoption and family care issues.The program is through the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute and is intended as a public awareness campaign. All members of Congress have an opportunity to recognize constituents for their work in helping foster children and orphans in the U.S. and overseas.

“The selflessness and compassion for others at New Horizons speaks volumes about their character and dedication,” Neugebauer said in a statement. “I’m honored to represent individuals and businesses like New Horizons who are really trying to make a positive impact in the community.”

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Neugebauer Honors New Horizons as an 'Angel in Adoption'

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) released the following statement today honoring New Horizons in Abilene as a 2010 Angel in Adoption for their outstanding advocacy of adoption and family care issues.

“At New Horizons, they work to restore hope to battered spirits by teaching children to face personal challenges as they strive to live successfully in a family and community. This  organization also places children in a safe and supportive environment where they can continue to heal and grow.

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