Protecting Children's Rights
Founded in 1908 as the Legal Aid Society of Pittsburgh, KidsVoice provides
the full-service advocacy that every abused, abandoned, voiceless and
vulnerable child deserves. Many of the children KidsVoice represents, in
addition to being neglected or abused, must overcome significant physical and
mental disabilities. Their conditions range from developmental delays, neonatal
drug addiction and AIDS to severe brain damage, suicidal depression and
critical organ failure.
provides , and for children who otherwise cannot speak for themselves. KidsVoice
vigilantly guides each child through the court process and ensures that every
agency involved meets the full range of the childs needs. Through
in-depth investigation, KidsVoice delivers informed recommendations and
advocates in court for the child's best interests in court and beyond--
making a dramatic difference in the lives of children, parents and the
community at large. KidsVoice ensures that the most appropriate services
are in place to protect children from future harm, with the ultimate goal of
providing a safe and permanent home for every child.
Representation and More
Almost every child represented by KidsVoice lacks minimally adequate or
safe parenting. Many states, including Pennsylvania, require the appointment of
an attorney as a guardian ad litem to advocate in court for the best
interests of every abused and neglected child. KidsVoice does that - and
established a new standard for child advocacy that expands well beyond
representation in court. It uses a new model of advocacy - a multi-disciplinary
approach - that provides comprehensive services and takes full account of each
child's physical and emotional needs. KidsVoice teams attorneys with
in-house child advocacy specialists - experts in social work, mental health,
education, child development, case management and substance abuse services.
Through the staff's collective knowledge on advocacy issues and nationwide
experience representing children, KidsVoice has developed a
revolutionary approach that delivers more effective representation. This new
approach is designed with specific protocols and outcome measures so that the
success of KidsVoice can be replicated across the country by other child
The Three Voices
KidsVoice provides ,
and for children who otherwise cannot speak for
Voice of Hope . . .
Abused and neglected children have been denied far more than legal rights. They
lack self-esteem, dignity and often are without even the basic sense of safety
and security every child should have at home. Many children believe that their
family situation is permanent and beyond their control. The support of KidsVoice
gives abused and neglected children the hope that their lives can change for
the better, with the knowledge that:
are not alone and that other children and families with similar issues have
are not responsible for their parents' actions;
is someone who understands their situation and will represent their interests
and explain the proceedings.
Voice for Rights . . .
Children are entitled to protection under the law, especially children
whose health and life may be in jeopardy due to conditions in their own home. KidsVoice
advocates not only for individual children, but also on other levels to
champion the cause of children and protect every child's right to a safe and
advocates for children:
all legal proceedings - protecting children's rights in courts, school
proceedings, and individual, class action and appellate cases;
the legislature - lobbying and advocating to change laws and secure adequate
funding for children's issues;
the community - representing children's best interests in the community to
ensure that needs and rights of children are heard and understood.
Voice of Experience . . .
Children are unprepared to deal with the issues presented in abuse and neglect
cases. KidsVoice brings years of experience in safeguarding the best
interests of children, including knowledge of:
signs of child abuse and neglect;
to help family members;
importance of attachment and bonding;
significance of sibling and extended family connections;
dynamics of family violence;
appropriate placement and services to choose from among mental health,
educational, substance abuse and family support services;
seemingly little things make a difference like having an appropriate
pair of eyeglasses, and clothes and shoes that fit.
1908 - 2008: Celebrating 100 years of legal advocacy for children and vulnerable citizens.