People often ask how we got started . . . Our history is humble. We founded the organization in 2004 after being trained as CASA advocates. We saw something wrong with the system – a flaw – the system seemed to be very stacked against biological parents. So we founded Parent Guidance Center and started taking cases in the Houston area and worked diligently for 3 years free of charge helping parents get their children back from Child Protective Services. But it wasn’t enough.
The flaw remained and just helping a few parents with individual cases was frustrating. We wanted to do more. We wanted to help everyone across the state. We were getting so many calls on our 1-800 line that we had to take it down. These calls came from all over the United States! There were too many starfish being washed up on the shore. Two people could not possibly help ALL of them at once – or could they?
That is when we made the life-changing decision to move to the capital -Austin, Texas. After 3 years of being in the trenches with parents, we knew we could help more parents – possibly ALL parents in Texas – if we started advocating for them at the state level – by educating legislators on the plight of parents across the state. Telling their stories, bringing case-specific examples to legislators – something they had never seemed to hear much of before . . . Talking to legislators about the importance of parental rights not being removed for the sake of “protecting children.” Instead, we wanted legislators to hear the message loud and clear:
HELP A PARENT AND YOU’VE ALREADY HELPED A CHILD
And so we have loudly pronounced that message to anyone who will listen – and some who still refuse to hear it. We will not give up and we will not allow anyone to sacrifice the rights of one group in the name of protecting another. See you at the capitol!
Johana Scot, Executive Director and Judy Powell, Communications Director