Every child in foster care is required by law to have an attorney that solely represents the child. With more than 11,000 children in care and a 28-month average length of time spent in care, a lot of attorneys are needed.
Founded in 1997, Oklahoma Lawyers for Children (OLFC) provides not just adequate, but high-quality legal representation for abused and neglected children. OLFC’s work is not subsidized by state or local governmental funding or contracts to support this critical work. Yet, OLFC’s services have been conservatively valued at a savings to our state of $4.6 million per year.
Within 72 hours of a child entering the system, an OLFC attorney is assigned to the child.
Each attorney is recruited, trained, mentored and supported by OLFC staff attorneys. The highly confidential juvenile justice system is a quagmire of moving parts. The goal is to heal fractured families so children can be safely returned home, but that is not always possible. The OLFC attorney must find a permanent option specific to each child.
Approximately 70% of children in care are significantly behind in school. OLFC’s Educational Guardian Ad Litem Program (Ed GAL) pairs an educational specialist to children suffering educational neglect or who have special needs. OLFC’s Ed GAL professionals work directly with children, schools, foster parents, and parents to help children in care succeed educationally.
OLFC makes a difference every day in the lives of abused and neglected children on a child-by-child basis. Learn more at OLFC.org.