Fiesta Fun for Families

Fiesta Fun for Family Programs Operated by BCFS Health and Human Services-San Antonio

Photo: Girl playing a ring-toss game at BCFS table

BCFS Health and Human Services-San Antonio’s commitment to end child abuse and neglect was front and center during Fiesta Week 2017 in San Antonio, April 19-29. April is National Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month, so BCFS-San Antonio staff that provide services to local families ventured out to various Fiesta events to share information and resources with the community. At the events, staff distributed giveaways and incentives to parents, caregivers and children, and even invited children to join them in a fun game of ring toss!

Staff from the Texas Families Together and Safe (TFTS) program and the Services to At-Risk Youth (STAR) program help families raising small children and teens, and families and youth in crisis.

Fiesta de los Niños San Antonio

At Port San Antonio’s Fiesta de los Niños event on Saturday, April 22, BCFS-San Antonio staff from the TFTS and STAR programs interacted with families and filled a booth with information about resources available at BCFS-San Antonio. At Fiesta de los Niños, children and families enjoyed games, a colorful parade, rides, activities, music and dancing.

United Way Kids Festival

Friendly faces from BCFS-San Antonio’s TFTS and STAR programs manned a table at the United Way Kids Festival at Lockwood Park on Saturday, April 29, to enroll families and caregivers in the two programs. The free, community festival was open to families in the San Antonio area. The United Way Kids Festival featured more than 65 booths, where organizations provided information, activities and entertainment to promote early childhood development.

HUG ME Ink KidsFest

HUG ME Ink, which stands for “Helping to Unite by Generating Mental Empowerment,” uses the arts to advocate for mental health awareness and bullying prevention. On April 29, BCFS-San Antonio staff attended the HUG ME Ink KidsFest to promote the TFTS and STAR programs. The KidsFest featured live entertainment, face painting, rides and souvenir balloon characters for children.

To learn more about BCFS-San Antonio’s TFTS and STAR programs, visit or call 210-733-7932

TFTS and STAR are funded by the Prevention and Early Intervention Division

Self-Defense Workshop

Self-Defense Workshop Teaches Del Rio Girls How to Handle a Physical Altercation
Annual workshop hosted by BCFS Health and Human Services-Del Rio

Thirty-two middle and high school girls learned the basics of self-defense at an annual workshop hosted by BCFS Health and Human Services-Del Rio. The workshop was held in observance of February as National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.

Photo: Assistant Demonstrates Self Defense Techniqus

Along with instruction in taijutsu martial arts, the young ladies learned how to avoid a dangerous situation, good decision-making skills when in trouble, and how to react in a life-threatening situation. Attendance at the workshop, which was open to girls ages 12-18, doubled from last year.

According to the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, one in three girls in the United States is the victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, and according to the American Bar Association Juvenile Justice Center, violent behavior often begins between the ages of 12 and 18. The self-defense workshop equipped girls with the skills to react quickly to destabilize or disarm an attacker.

The workshop was led by Hector Cruz, Jr., a healthcare professional with teacher certifications in tai chi, gymnastics, the martial arts and yoga. Throughout the workshop, Cruz and his squad of assistants demonstrated different moves that used balance, weight and the body’s pressure points to fend off an attacker. After each demonstration, the girls partnered up to try their newly acquired skills.

“We always want our kids to be safe, but when they’re faced with danger, we want them to be prepared to defend themselves if necessary,” said BCFS-Del Rio Family Violence Specialist Claudia Lopez, who organized the workshop. “Although this workshop was only for middle and high school students, some people from around the community have asked us to host a session for older women. Self-defense really is important for people of all ages.”

BCFS Health and Human Services-Del Rio operates programs to serve those in need throughout Val Verde County, including free counseling and crisis intervention through the Services to At Risk Youth (STAR) program, and domestic violence treatment and prevention through the Del Rio Domestic Violence (DRDV) program.

BCFS-Del Rio’s domestic violence hotline is available around the clock at (830) 768-2755.

For more information about BCFS-Del Rio, or to seek help for an abusive relationship, visit or call (830) 768-2755.