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Mission

Texas Loves Children, Inc. (TLC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve case outcomes for abused and neglected children by enhancing the quality of legal services they receive. The most important decisions about an abused or neglected child's future are made in court. TLC exists to help ensure that those decisions are the best possible for the child.

Click here to view a brochure on how TLC helps abused and neglected children.

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History

Texas Loves Children, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, was founded by Barbara Elias-Perciful in 1995 to provide specialized training about child abuse issues to Dallas judges and attorneys. Barbara had been practicing business litigation at the Dallas firm Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal, L.L.P., when she took a pro bono court appointment to represent an abused child. The heartbreaking situation—a 12-year-old girl who had been methodically sexually abused by her father for years—was made even more desperate when Barbara saw the lack of tools, research, and expertise readily available to assist judges and attorneys handling these cases. Shortly thereafter, Barbara left the law firm and opened a private practice devoted exclusively to representing abused children. She then established Texas Loves Children, Inc. (TLC) to provide highly specialized training to the legal community on complex child abuse issues, subjects not typically covered in law school. For overt 15 years, TLC has sponsored high-quality training seminars on critical legal, medical, and mental health issues for judges, attorneys, CPS workers, CASA volunteers, and law enforcement personnel.

In May 2004, Texas Loves Children launched the Texas Lawyers for Children Online Legal Resource and Communication Center program — an interactive online legal resource center designed to bring training and information to the fingertips of judges and attorneys across Texas. TLC later expanded the Online Center to include a Communication Center with communication services enabling judges and attorneys to access colleagues, experts, and mentors. In November 2007, the Texas Supreme Court’s Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families selected TLC’s Online Center program as one of its Texas Court Improvement Program projects for improving the court system’s handling of child abuse cases. During 2008, TLC replicated its Online Center model for California’s Administrative Office of the Courts. California’s Online Center now serves over 3,500 judges, attorneys, and child welfare workers. This collaboration marked a momentous leap in realizing TLC’s goal of creating a national network of Online Centers that work together to help children by sharing information and best practices. TLC has also created Online Centers for Florida and Alabama. Today in Texas, over 2,000 Texas judges and attorneys trust TLC’s services providing critical updates on new developments in the field, a complete, consistently updated law library, and secure communication services. These legal professionals estimate that they handle the cases of over 105,000 Texas children annually.

In August 2009, TLC’s Founder and President, Barbara Elias-Perciful, was honored by the American Bar Association as the Distinguished Lawyer recipient of the 2009 Child Advocacy Award for her service on behalf of abused and neglected children, largely due to her work with TLC. This prestigious award is based on an individual's personal achievements and impact in helping abused and neglected children. Ms. Elias-Perciful was honored in a ceremony during the ABA’s annual meeting in Chicago. For details, please click here to see the ABA's announcement of the award.

In November 2010, TLC was honored with the 2010 Award for Excellence in Social Innovation by the Dallas Center for Nonprofit Management for the impact of the Texas Lawyers for Children Online Legal Resource and Communication Center in helping abused and neglected children. The award recognizes TLC's Online Center project as “a novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient and sustainable…and demonstrates significant positive change around a specific social issue.” The 1-minute video on the home page describes TLC’s mission and was shown at the award ceremony in November 2010. Click here for further details about the award.

Texas Loves Children is confident that with the continued involvement and support of the community, its vision will be achieved—that abused children nationwide are protected from further harm.

 

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©Copyright 2014, Texas Loves Children, Inc....The children depicted here were not taken from actual child abuse cases.