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About Texas Loves Children, Inc.

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.

To view a brochure on how TLC helps abused and neglected children, click here.

History

Texas Loves Children, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was founded by Barbara Elias-Perciful in 1995 initially 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 most of the last 18 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.

The Texas Lawyers for Children Online Legal Resource and Communication Center (Online Center)

In May 2004, TLC launched the Texas Lawyers for Children Online Legal Resource Center in order to further extend the availability of training and information. TLC later expanded the online center to include a Communication Center with communication services enabling judges and attorneys to access colleagues, experts, and mentors. Today, over 2,200 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 118,000* Texas children annually. In November 2007, the Texas Supreme Court’s Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families selected TLC’s Online Legal Resource and Communication Center as one of its Texas Court Improvement projects for improving the court system’s handling of child abuse cases. During 2008, TLC replicated its online legal resource center for California. California’s online center now serves over 3,600 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. Since 2012, TLC has replicated its Online Center for Alabama, Florida, and Maryland. Together with Texas, these five states’ child population equals about 1/3 of the child population of the United States! TLC is in discussions with other groups that are considering bringing an Online Center to their state to aid professionals who help abused children.

Awards

TLC’s Founder and President, Barbara Elias-Perciful, was honored by the American Bar Association with the ABA's national 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.

TLC was honored with the 2010 "Award for Excellence in Social Innovation" by the Dallas Center for Nonprofit Management, after selection by an independent panel of community leaders, for the impact of TLC’s Online Center. This prestigious award is given to the organization that best provides "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 award ceremony was held during the "Night of Light" gala on November 19, 2010, at the Hilton Anatole Hotel, with 700 people in attendance. To see a photo of TLC's Director, Barbara Elias-Perciful, accepting the award from Ms. Gillian Breidenbach, click here.

Vision

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.

* This number includes other vulnerable children in the family and child abuse court systems in addition to children in the legal care of the state. It is also possible that this number includes some overlap, since a judge and an attorney may be reporting the same child from a case they both handle.

HomeVisit the Texas Loves Children websiteView TLC's brochure (PDF)