Advocates for Children has received a nearly $1 million grant from the Lilly Endowment to help kids in the community navigate the legal system.
According to the non-profit group, the grant is coming through the endowment’s Strengthening Youth Programs in Indiana initiative. The goal of the initiative is to help youth-serving organizations improve their abilities to promote the academic, physical, and social well-being of children between 5 and 18 years old.
The $999 thousand dollar grant will go to help Advocates provide help to children in the court system through legal consultation with attorneys and will strengthen the organization’s capacity and infrastructure. The group looks out for the interests of children through its Court Appointed Special Advocates and guardian ad litem programs, which represent the best interests of abused and neglected children involved in dependency proceedings in Bartholomew, Decatur, and Jennings counties.
Cruz Baisa, president of the Advocates for Children board says that sometimes those advocacy efforts would be strengthened by consulting with an attorney. But there are not always funds available to hire a needed attorney through the Hon. Heather Mollo Legal Consultation Project. But the grant funds will change that, he said.
The funds will also be used to staff Advocates for Children in a way to make the organization more sustainable.
Lilly Endowment launched the Strengthening Youth Programs in Indiana Initiative in 2022.