Thank you for contacting Justice for Children. Justice for Children (JFC) is a national nonprofit organization committed to advocating for children who are victims of criminal abuse, yet are failed by the governmental systems designed to protect them. More information about our organization is available at our website, www.jfcadvocacy.org. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with our organization before completing these forms. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation or gender identity in the provision of services or employment. Our area of advocacy is focused exclusively on the abused child. When determining whether JFC is the right agency for the child’s situation, please consider the following JFC does not substitute for Law Enforcement or CPS as lead investigative agencies where child abuse has been alleged. We are an advocacy organization, not a governmental one. Our clients are children who have already been deemed victims of abuse by the appropriate authorities yet still remain unprotected from their abusers or where the authorities have failed to conduct a proper investigation and have taken no action to protect the child. There are several governmental entities that are involved in the investigation and/or assessment of child abuse: Law Enforcement; CPS; the District Attorney’s Office; Family or Juvenile Courts; and Criminal Courts (collectively, “The System.”) Each of these entities fails children. Sometimes, all of these entities do. Our role at Justice for Children is to learn the facts of the case, determine where the System has broken down and why, try to get the case back on track by addressing the problem with the source and educating the source with the evidence and expertise we have in child abuse. JFC intervenes in cases of criminal child abuse; though, the source of the problem may lie in the civil courts (i.e., the Juvenile of Family Courts.) JFC becomes involved in cases of neglect on a case-by-case basis. JFC intervenes in custody/visitation disputes only when the children involved are victims of criminal child abuse. JFC advocates for the best interests of the child. By necessity, however, this may mean that we are assisting a protective parent or grandparent to obtain custody. In order for a case to be considered by JFC, we must be in possession of supporting documentation of the abuse from law enforcement, medical or mental health personnel, or the state agency responsible for the protection of children. As a third party, JFC does not have the authority to obtain any of this documentation, it must be provided to us at intake. Exceptions cannot be made to the above criterion. If you are unsure as to whether or not JFC will be able to assist the child’s current circumstance, please call us at 713-225-4357. The enclosed forms are necessary and must be received in completion in order for JFC to open a case. The most important portion of the information you provide to JFC is your supporting documentation. Without it, our caseworkers cannot proceed to advocate for the children involved. Examples of supporting documentation include: Final reports from completed investigations by a protective agency that validate/confirm/found/ substantiate that criminal child abuse has occurred. Police reports indicating that a child has been abused. Medical reports where the doctor states that the injuries sustained by the victim are consistent with abuse. Documents from a therapist/counselor/psychologist/psychiatrist that confirms that a child has made disclosures of abuse. Court testimony where either a victim or alleged perpetrator has testified under oath that criminal child abuse has taken place. Any information or documents that do not specifically document criminal child abuse will be discarded. Examples of these types of documents include: receipts of bought merchandise, copies of checks for services rendered on behalf of the child, arrest reports not pertaining to incidences of violence, videotapes/audio tapes/photographs not completed by a professional investigating the abuse allegations, letters/journals/drawings not part of a therapist report, and court documents not directly pertaining to the abuse allegations. Enclosure of these documents will slow our caseworkers in reviewing the relevant information and detract from their overall ability to provide expedient services for the children involved. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation or gender identity in the provision of services or employment. PLEASE DO NOT SEND JFC YOUR SOLE ORIGINALS OF ANY DOCUMENTATION. If, after reading these instructions, you believe you have a JFC case, please return this completed intake packet to: Justice for Children 6750 West Loop South, Suite 120 Bellaire, TX 77401 Upon receipt of your completed intake, a JFC caseworker will notify you to confirm receipt. Our caseworkers ask for 5 business days to review your information before contacting you to notify you of an intake decision. Incomplete intake packets, including those returned without a release of liability, confidentiality agreement and/or supporting documentation, WILL NOT be reviewed until complete. Please do not hesitate to call if you have any questions regarding the enclosed forms (713) 225-4357.
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Justice for Children assists and refers several thousand callers annually through the complicated and unsympathetic maze of governmental agencies established to protect abused children. Advocating for an abused or neglected child takes on many different forms of participation and involvement. These include researching and gathering supporting documentation; reviewing supporting documentation; referring persons to professionals; guiding them through the legal and judicial process; initiating child abuse investigations; generating advocacy correspondence and amicus briefs; and acting as facilitator of professional services.
Justice for Children has proposed and drafted legislation to improve the laws pertaining not only to child abuse and child protection, but also laws concerning the funding for protective services. We have also presented legislation designed to make the legal process more child-friendly. Additionally, because of its experience in this area, Justice for Children receives numerous requests to provide testimony regarding various pieces of legislation around the country.
Justice for Children is involved in a variety of legal research projects and has contributed to amicus briefs, researching legal issues and providing data on important legal issues affecting the rights of abused children.
Justice for Children has traditionally provided information and materials to combat child abuse and to educate the public of the signs and symptoms of child abuse or neglect in its efforts to interrupt its dismal cycle. In 2012, it is initiating a project called “Just in Time”, to develop a series of informational and instructional modules to be placed on its website. Each is designed specifically to aid a field on the front lines of identifying and re-mediating child abuse: the community, medical first responders, school personnel, pediatricians, court personnel, and counseling professionals.
We seek to collaborate with other concerned national and community leaders, professionals, institutions, non-profit organizations, and governmental agencies to further a common goal of solving the deficiencies in our present child protective systems. By expanding our relationships within the community and on a national level, we are working to create a system that will effectively handle a child’s initial report of abuse, provide immediate safety, and ultimately, prosecute and convict the child abuser.
Justice for Children’s expert opinion continues to be recognized and valued by local and national media, legal and medical professionals, child abuse experts, and various other children’s rights organizations. We have been featured on ABC’s Primetime Live, ABC’s prime-time documentary entitled ‘Crimes Against Children,’ a PBS documentary entitled ‘Boy Crying, Baby Crying,” as well as appearances on Good Morning America, Donahue, the Discovery channel’s “Justice Files,’ HBO and in 2011, the BBC.