Every 9 minutes, a child in Texas experiences abuse or neglect. Nearly 4,000 children in the Houston area have experienced such life-threatening abuse or neglect that they had to be removed from their homes and placed in foster care. Child Advocates trains everyday people to advocate for the best interests of these children in court so they can find safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible.
Child Advocates volunteers are appointed by a judge to represent the best interests of a child or sibling group in foster care. They serve as the judge’s eyes and ears while the children are in custody, ensuring their unique needs are met until they can safely return home or are permanently placed with a loving relative or adoptive family. Unlike Child Protective Services caseworkers and court-appointed attorneys who juggle overwhelming caseloads, our volunteers represent just one child or sibling group at a time. Their advocacy makes sure no child falls through the cracks of our overburdened child welfare system.
Child Advocates volunteers make a profound difference in the lives of the children they serve. Studies show children served by an advocate volunteer are better able to work with others and to control deviant behavior than children without an advocate. Also, more parents of these children complete counseling services, psychiatric evaluations and drug and alcohol counseling than those without an advocate. With Child Advocates’ help, the cycle of abuse can be broken, allowing these children to become productive adults and loving parents. To learn more, visit http://www.childadvocates.org