About Life Stories Weld
Life Stories provides advocacy and support for abused and neglected children by advancing coordinated investigations, prosecution and victim services.
HOW WE BEGAN
In 1989, United Way of Weld County conducted a community needs assessment to identify critical issues in the community and discovered the community’s response to child abuse needed improvements – particularly in the delivery of victim services and coordination between agencies. To create solutions for these needs, United Way formed a Child Abuse Coalition. This coalition founded A Kid’s Place (later known as Life Stories: Child and Family Advocacy) in 1995 as Weld County’s child assessment center (now known as the Child Advocacy Center, or CAC). Initially, this program was part of United Way. In 1998, after the program had proven its effectiveness, it developed into an independent organization. All along, it served as a safe, child-focused, unbiased, culturally-appropriate environment for investigative forensic interviews of victims of child maltreatment. In 1997, the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Program of Weld County was founded to train community volunteers who are appointed by the court to advocate for safe, permanent homes for children involved in the Dependency and Neglect court system. In 2000, the CAC and CASA programs merged and are now both operated by Life Stories.
WHO WE ARE TODAY
Currently, Life Stories has 11 members of the Board of Directors, employs 11 staff members, and has 151 active volunteers in the CASA Program. Additionally, we work closely with a Multi-Disciplinary Team made up of local law enforcement agencies, the 19th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Weld County Department of Human Services, mental health providers, and a medical provider. Together, we work to efficiently investigate and prosecute criminal cases of child abuse and neglect and provide advocacy & support for victims and their non-offending family members.
We went through a rebranding process in 2016 to better unite our programs. In January 2017, we introduced our new name, Life Stories: Child and Family Advocacy. We honor and value the stories that are shared in the CAC and with CASA volunteers and supervisors. By giving children a safe space to tell their story and the resources to overcome the trauma they faced, we hope all victims will become survivors and have a better future – in safe, permanent homes free from abuse and neglect.
Life Stories Weld Website