WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A local state representative is being recognized for the impact he’s made to better child welfare conditions in Texas.

Rep. James Frank was honored Wednesday, August 24, by the Texas Council of Child Welfare Boards (TCCWB) and awarded the David M. Williams Champion of Children Award.

David M. Williams spent his life working with the TCCWB. After he passed away in 2020, they created the Champion of Children Award to honor his legacy.

Patsy Baggett of the children’s advocacy center Patsy’s House chose Representative James Frank for this award and said she can’t think of anyone else who deserved it more.

“David M. Williams was a special person, and I think anyone that receives that award should feel really great,” Baggett said.

Kathrine Earley of the TCCWB explained how significant earning the award really is.

“We wanted this to be a special award, not just a routine annual award, but something really special, to nominate someone who really exemplified what it means to give your life in the service of children and families,” Earley said.

Frank is a Rider High School graduate, but he’s been doing big things for the state since joining the Texas House of Representatives from District 69 in 2012.

“I’ve worked with Child Advocates, Inheritance Adoption, Straight Street and a number of other organizations that work with at-risk kids,” Frank said. “I learned about at-risk kids through a local church and local organizations and now have a chance to take what I learned in Wichita Falls on a local level to the state level.”

Rep. Frank is the owner of several manufacturing businesses that operate within Texoma and holds several other titles, but he received the Champion of Children Award to applaud him for his mission to better the conditions of child welfare agencies across the state.

“The representative has really worked tirelessly to bring community-based care to the state and to get decisions for children to be made in the communities they come from,” Earley said.

“He’s the first person that I’ve really known that has really developed a concept that will really work,” Baggett said.

Rep. Frank said bettering children’s welfare across the state is a challenging task to take on, but working with local organizations to combat the issue has been benfecial.

“The Child Welfare Board does a lot of things around the state, [so] it’s nice to be able to partner with them in trying to make things better for kids,” Frank said. “It’s a real challenge; it’s a huge state, and I think the local organizations do a much better job than the state trying to keep it coordinated, so it’s fun to work with them, and everyone likes to be recognized sometimes.”

Frank said working with the community has gotten him where he is today. He said the best advice to anyone in the community wanting to make a difference is to never be afraid to fail.