Every child has a story. Life Stories Child and Family Advocacy (Life Stories) believes every child deserves a story of hope and a future, free from abuse and neglect.
Life Stories Child and Family Advocacy provides advocacy and support for children in need in our community. One of the key ways they provide support is through their Child Advocacy Center (CAC). Life Stories’ CAC provides a safe space for children and their families to tell their stories and begin the journey of healing. Life Stories works with children and families to help them turn their stories into one of great expectancy. Chris Eisenhauer, Child Advocacy Center Program Manager stated, “Our goal is to put support systems in place, so every child will experience that telling their story made their life better.”
When a child and their family enter Life Stories’ doors, they are greeted by a staff member and accompanied into a warm and welcoming waiting room filled with stuffed animals, crayons, and toys. A team of interviewers and family advocates provides support, resources, and advocacy throughout the entire process. To honor the childrens’ bravery, Life Stories’ walls are filled with little gingerbread kids. After their interview, children have the opportunity to create their own gingerbread person where they can share their personal stories.
Eisenhauer believes child abuse is a community issue, one that we should all seek to support. In 2021, the Weld County Department of Human Services reported that 1 in 95 children in our community is facing situations of abuse and neglect. As a comprehensive community effort, Life Stories partners with local law enforcement, the District Attorney’s office, the Weld County Department of Human Services, and medical and mental providers to ensure that children receive support from every angle. Furthermore, the CAC recently added counseling and a non-acute medical room on site to bring yet another layer of support for children. By bringing the right resources to a child and their family members, families feel heard, supported, and cared for by their community.
In 2020-2021, Life Stories’ served over 672 Weld County youth. Over 400 children received services from the CAC, and 250 children were served by a CASA volunteer. Life Stories implores community members to support this cause. You can be involved in preventing child abuse in our community by getting educated, volunteering, or financially supporting Life Stories. The 10th annual SuperHero Run on September 17, 2022, is a great way to show your support for Life Stories. Community members can also apply to become CASA volunteers to advocate for children in court.
When the sad reality of abuse becomes part of a child’s story, Life Stories helps children turn their story into one of hope and healing. It is up to all of us to be a part of helping change these children’s stories, giving them a hopeful future.