Justice for Children is a national child advocacy organization,
headquartered in Houston, Texas. It was founded in 1987 by Randy Burton, a former Chief Prosecutor of the Family Offenses Section of the Harris County District Attorney’s office, and a group of concerned citizens within the community in response to the inadequacies and failure of child protective system to protect abused & neglected children.
Today, Justice for Children continues to support the abused and neglected child. We remain unique in our purpose: we advocate on behalf of abused and neglected children who have been failed by the System designed to protect them. Because our advocacy for a child is not dependent on court appointments, we can work for the child’s safety and protection long before the case arrives in a court. Our early intervention can make an enormous difference in a child’s life because by the time a case gets to court, it’s often too late.
Justice for Children works closely with adults who are trying to protect an abused or neglected child. Individuals seek our assistance and guidance through a system that is often overwhelming, especially due to the emotional and traumatic events that are taking place in such a child’s life. Often, protective parents have nowhere else to turn for guidance and assistance through the maze of bureaucratic agencies and a legal system that is too often stacked against the child. There are no fees to the client for our services.
IT IS UNACCEPTABLE THAT, OF THE CHILDREN WHO DIED FROM ABUSE OR NEGLECT NATIONWIDE, 40% TO 50% WERE ALREADY KNOWN TO BE ABUSED, OR AT SERIOUS RISK OF ABUSE, BY THE SYSTEM THAT WAS CHARGED WITH THEIR PROTECTION. THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY, MANY THOUSANDS OF CHILDREN ARE BEING FAILED BY AN INADEQUATE CHILD PROTECTIVE SYSTEM.
The “child protective system” consists of a tangled web of agencies and jurisdictions, with different procedures and priorities. In some cases, various responsible agencies believes another is protecting the child, while in fact none of them are.
There are inconsistent definitions, procedures, and data collection standards across jurisdictions and agencies, which undermines provision of services for abused and neglected children.
The general public has a poor understanding of the legal, socioeconomic, developmental,and medical dimensions of child maltreatment, and there are even serious gaps in knowledge and understanding among key professionals dealing with abused children.
Funding is being slashed in response to calls for austerity, debt reduction and smaller government. In some cases, this truly impedes agency responsiveness; in others, it serves as an excuse for under performance.
Justice for Children provides a full range of advocacy and services for abused and neglected children, including legal advocacy, public policy monitoring, guidance through a complex child protective system, professional referrals, mental health services, court watch, research, education, and emotional support.