January 4, 2010

2010 Resolutions for Child Advocacy in YOUR Family and Community

The year changes. The ball drops. We tip back a glass of champagne and scribble down some resolutions, some of which we may keep, some of which we may not.

But what resolutions can you make to advocate for your children or the children in your family and community?

1. If you have children, have a will. Find an attorney who can make an air-tight will in your state (if you are in New Jersey, I do them!) that gives guardianship of your children to someone YOU would choose if something should happen to you. Don't let your state's Child Protective Services make the decision of who your child should live with if they lost you.

2. If you do not have children, but wish you did...consider foster parenting. There are many, many children out there so desperately in need of a home where they will be loved and cared for, even if its only for a short time.

3. If you have children in your family, get to know them. So many adult survivors of child abuse will describe how they spent countless hours around family members who did not know they were being hurt. Get to know the children in your family, and let them know that if they have troubles they can come to you.

4. Become a mentor. Studies show that children at risk are greatly benefited by mentors. If there isn't a Big Brothers/Big Sisters or other mentorship program in your area, start one!

5. If you have a child with special needs, get serious! Get involved with the school, the IEP process...if they aren't listening to what your child needs, see an attorney who specializes in education law. Get to know the law and make sure that your child is getting all the services they need and deserve.

6. If you have a child in the public school system, get involved! Vote in local elections, join the P.T.A. (or start one), get to know the teachers that your children are dealing with. Teachers are almost always happy to have parents involved who are concerned about their children and want to know what is going on. Don't worry about bothering the teacher, they want to talk to you about how to help your child succeed!

7. Involved with a church, mosque or synagogue? Make sure your place of worship has information, and even maybe speakers available about child advocacy in your community, or at the least about how to recognize and report child abuse. Likewise, educate members of civic groups you belong to.

8. Educate yourself. Know the signs of child abuse. Know what to do if you see them.

Personal Note: I haven't updated this blog in awhile because I have been busy opening my law firm! The Law Office of Lynda L. Hinkle does family law, education, wills and municipal law. Hopefully, now that we are up and running I will be returning to a regular blogging schedule.


  1. Dumb question. Do you really buy into this or do you just promote it because you make more money?

    Does it benefit you to keep a child in the system longer?


  2. Exactly how would it benefit me to keep a child in the system longer and also, what did I say above that suggested a child should be in the system longer?

  3. The benefits are identified through unjust enrichment, or perhaps you would better recognize it as Medicaid fraud.

    You advocate for children who are under the auspices of the state, but do you ever advocate for the end of child welfare fraud?

    As you have failed to enumerate anything pertaining to ending child welfare fraud, (i.e. ameliorating improper, unnecessary removals, false claims) I question your abilities as a child advocate.

    As you have failed to acknowledge that poverty is not a crime of abuse and neglect or the pervasiveness of fraud in child welfare, may I suggest an addition to your 2010 resolution list?

    (9) Report fraud If you suspect fraudulent activities in child welfare, file a report with your state attorney general and with the U.S. DHHS OIG and U.S. DOJ partnership to end Medicaid fraud in child welfare.

    Beverly Tran

  4. I apologize for my lack of clarity.

    I'm LK by the way, I do a blog called Legally Kidnapped which is about the Child Protective, foster care, adoption, lawyers, child advocates, etc. I just came across your blog while doing my research.

    >> Exactly how would it benefit me to keep a child in the system longer and also, what did I say above that suggested a child should be in the system longer?

    Actually I was responding more to your whole blog, not any one particular post.

    Here's the logic I used to make this assumption.

    Your blog says that you are a "Child Advocate Lawyer". I assume that you make your living as a child advocate lawyer by working with what you assume to be abused and neglected children, therefore working along side CPS and by contract, I would guess.

    Not to mention this blog is mostly regurgitated pro-CPS propaganda. I also looked at your website, since the link was provided under the profile picture on the sidebar of your blog. I see links to all kinds of child protective related information including the child abuse hotline of New Jersey. So I made the reasonable assumption that you make your money by working with CPS. The longer the kid is in the system, the longer your contract for that kid, the more money you make, right? And we all know that CPS only gives contracts to lawyers and such who are friendly to the state and you do say that you have a passion for child advocacy.

    As for my other question; do you really buy into this or do you just do it for the money? I'm not sure how I can clarify that any further.

  5. Actually, I am a lawyer who is a child advocate. Specifically, I am an attorney who does family law, education and municipal law. As part of my practice I advocate for children's interests with my clients in family disputes. I also advocate for children in education law who are not getting the special education services they need. Finally, I have done and will be doing some work for the Office of the Public Defender working as a pool attorney representing the interests of children in CPS actions. In the interest of disclosure, I will be making some money doing that (although only about 1/4 per client that I'd be making with a private client...I do this for the love of it)...HOWEVER the majority of my money comes from private clients and their various family/municipal/education matters.

    I consider myself a child advocate because of the volunteer work I do and hope to do for the interests of children and their voice in the legal system.

    I do not consider myself "pro-CPS". There are plenty of things that CPS does that are wrong.(In the interest of disclosure, again, as an OPD pool attorney I technically would be appearing as the child's attorney, which can sometimes be counter to the CPS attorney or the parents attorney, though its better when all can work collaboratively to find the best interest of the child).

    However, ignoring the personal hells of children suffering with abuse and neglect because we do not trust or like the system is not the answer either.I am all for calling the system into accountability for each and every child that is in their care, but I am also all for calling every parent into accountabiity for the children in THEIR care.

  6. “Digital Recording of Child Forensic Interviews was found to enhance the ability of prosecutors to file appropriate charges.” Child Advocacy http://www.irecord.tv/

  7. What about the abuse of sending minors to adult
    AA/NA meetings that have violent felons and sexual predators sent by the court system and parents? That both AA and NA promote minors attending even knowing the dangers.