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Villafuerte Addresses Crowd of 500 Supporters at Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center Annual Dinner

By Jennifer Orton Subscribe to RSS | January 11th 2012 | Views:
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On May 5, 2010, Stephanie Villafuerte, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center, addressed a crowd of 500 donors and supporters at the Children’s Law Center’s 30th Anniversary Dinner.

Villafuerte is a twenty year practicing attorney who specializes in child maltreatment issues. She addressed the crowd about the plight of abused and neglected children in Colorado.

Villafuerte said, “What we know is that at this exact moment there are over 12,000 Colorado children who have been removed from their homes because they have suffered severe abuse and neglect at the hands of their caretakers.” “It is a crisis of epidemic proportions.”

Villafuerte, a former career prosecutor who ran the Child Abuse Unit in the Denver District Attorney’s Office, noted that the public’s knowledge of child abuse and neglect is often associated with high profile criminal cases. A situation the public often believes is fully dealt with by the criminal justice system. However, this is not the reality of the child abuse and neglect problem in Colorado or even nationally.

“What I have learned over the years is that the criminal justice system addresses less than 10% of the total number of child abuse incidents that occur and that this is

due to very legitimate legal and evidentiary constraints.” “However, the other 90% of the cases are handled in civil proceedings in juvenile courtrooms.” “These children’s cases go largely unnoticed by the press or public—yet these children have been subject to such severe abuse and neglect that they have been removed from their homes.”

Villafuerte went on to comment that the public is largely unaware that there are thousands of children in Colorado lingering in foster care and group homes waiting for the “system” to make their homes safe for their return or if that’s impossible—to find them a new home altogether. She stated, “Children wait for years in state care to be placed in a safe environment.” “Children were not meant to be raised in this manner. It is such an unstable environment.”

Villafuerte went on to say that the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center works to help foster children throughout the state. “We are a law center with lawyers, social workers, educational advocates and other professionals who work on behalf of these children everyday. Our job is to make sure that the system works for foster children by ensuring that they receive proper care and safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible. “In sum, we serve to protect and lift up the lives of abused and neglected children.”

Jennifer Orton - About Author:
Jennifer Orton is an avid writer who writes on a variety of topics including, but not limited to Stephanie Villafuerte. She has written many popular articles. She also does research work for various companies and people.

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