How it all began...
Before we opened A Place for Children, kids would be in courtrooms with their parents or caregivers. Some would witness dramatic disputes between their moms and dads. Others would see their loved one hauled away in handcuffs. And some would even have to see a relative who had severely hurt them in the past.
Often, the harshness was too much to handle, and children would be ushered out of the courtroom, leaving court personnel to console them. Plainly put, it wasn't fair to the kids, and it interfered with court business.
In 1996, Orange County Mayor Linda Chapin, Orange County Bar Association President Mary Ann Down Healthy Community Initiative Chair Marylin King realized something had to change. They found program in New York, where the Chief Judge of the highest court mandated that all New York courthouses move toward establishing a place for children to wait for their caregivers outside of courtrooms. This was it!
But the women wanted to do more ... they knew the kids would likely benefit from other health care and mental health services. So they joined with us and, together, we established A Place for Children.
Nearly 2,000 kids find safety through this center each year, and we count on our community to help us keep the doors open. Will you join us?