DePelchin’s Jesse Booher speaks with Houston Matters

Houston matters with Craig Cohen

DePelchin recently had the chance to explain our work and provide the public with more information about preventing child abuse on Houston Matters, a radio show and podcast produced by Houston Public Media.

DePelchin Senior Vice President and COO Jesse Booher joined host Craig Cohen on the April 24 edition of Houston Matters to discuss Child Abuse Prevention Month. They talked about ways that individuals, families and organizations can help to keep families safe. Booher discussed the range of prevention programs and other services that DePelchin provides in the Houston area.

“We’re a full continuum provider, so in our prevention programs, we meet with families where there is no designation of abuse and neglect, where families might need just a little bit of support, some skill building, counseling, and things to wrap around them,” Booher said. “We do also work with families who are involved with Child Protective Services, sort of the next step along that continuum, and then we have very robust foster care and adoption programs. So when the most serious types of abuse and neglect have occurred, we have families and staff who are willing and able to step in and help heal that trauma — not just the child’s trauma, but the family’s trauma as well.”

The show began with a focus on how, during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a sharp reduction in the number of suspected cases of child maltreatment that were reported. Those numbers bounced back in 2021 and 2022 as students returned to school and began to see medical providers more frequently. The groups who most commonly report abuse and neglect are teachers, law enforcement, and medical professionals.

Booher also emphasized the importance of anyone who suspects a child is being abused or neglected calling the Texas Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400. He noted that the people who take those calls at the hotlines are well-trained professionals who can often determine whether further investigation is warranted without a process that is too invasive for the family.

“If something doesn’t sit right in your gut — if you have a question or a concern — it’s OK to make that phone call,” Booher said.

You can listen to the full interview at this link. The interview with Booher begins at about the 8:10 mark.

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