The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
When Roman Benton, owner of B&B Ice Inc., learned how difficult it was to return a child to their home after being removed by Child Protective Services, he asked, “Why don’t they just find them a new home?”
That is when Brandi Kolander, volunteer coordinator at Child Protective Services in Port Arthur, explained to him, “If you have ever seen a removal you’d understand it is not an east thing to go through.”
Sometimes separating a child from a parent can be devastating for both the parent and the child, because family bonds are often strong, said Kolander, regardless of the situation at home.
In many cases the removal of a child is not the best option, she explained, and so workers need resources like those found at the Port Arthur Rainbow Room, in order to bring the child’s living situation up to the government standard.
“We can’t dismiss a case until we ask whether the baby has a safe place to sleep,” said Kolander.
The Rainbow Room is a resource room that provides emergency items for children of families who suffer from abuse or neglect. The items include diapers, wipes, fold-able cribs, car seats, toys, and other cleaning and hygiene products: Basic needs for growing children.
Over the last six month’s Benton’s company has donated a over $7,000 to the Rainbow Room, a sum Kolander called a “significant contribution.”
The money will go to by clothes, car seats, diapers and many more important items.
“It’s people like this that help us have these things,” said board member and volunteer Bonnie Pate.
Because Child Protective Services is a state-run organization, by law the employees are not allowed to solicit money for the organization.
The Rainbow Room, which is housed in the CPS building, is organized by a board called the Mid and South Jefferson County Community Partners.
“A lot of the time when they remove the kids from the homes they only carry what they have on their backs” said Pate, who recently assisted in the removal of a two young children from their Port Arthur home.
An important issue for the board is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS
The board purchases Pack-N-Play baby beds to give the parents a cheap safe place for their children to sleep.
“There are numerous children that die in their beds smothered by those in the bed with them,” said board president Bob McCurry. “We really promote what we call a bed for every head.”
The Pack-N-Play beds are easier to transport than full size cribs and they are also easier to store or place in small homes.
Donations may be made by goint to the Department of Protective Services located at 5860 Ninth Ave. in Port Arthur or by calling Brandi Kolander (409)791-4297.