Change the community one child at a time

This is the second in a series of monthly articles about the volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates working with Voices for Children and the Juvenile Court.

Foster children are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they are not real before you hold them in your arms. Once you do, everything changes.

In our society the basic needs and rights of children are entrusted to their families, but when the family — for whatever reason — is unable to meet those obligations, our most vulnerable children are placed in the foster care system.

If we choose to be silent, to simply do nothing to help children in foster care, we choose to create a society of people who will be dependent on others to support them for generations to come. When we help children in foster care we are helping to build a strong community of productive citizens. As a community we can encourage them reach their full potential. We can offer hope to what appears to be a dark future. We can make a difference.

Joyce Brown of Pine Bluff has been standing up for the rights of children in foster care for almost seven years. You can join Brown and the 32 other volunteers in giving our most valuable resources, our children, a voice.

There are hundreds of children in foster care in Southeast Arkansas on any given day. These children need someone to walk with them through the system, to give them hope. If you are at least 21 years of age with a clean background, you can be that someone they are waiting for.

Call Voices for Children at 870-536-5922, 870-329-7976 or e-mail for more information on how you can become a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children.