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Dallas, Texas News

Dallas County Celebrates 30 Years of Kids In Court Program

Dallas County Criminal District Attorney John Creuzot has joined forces with the National Council of Jewish Women Dallas (NCJW), Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center (DCAC), and Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA) to mark a significant milestone—the 30th anniversary of the Kids In Court (KIC) program.

Since its inception, Kids in Court has been pivotal in supporting child victims and witnesses navigating the judicial system, ensuring their court experience is less daunting and more empowering. The program engages volunteer experts from various fields, including law enforcement, counseling, and advocacy, to guide children through courtroom procedures.

District Attorney John Creuzot expressed his pride in the collaborative effort, stating, "Kids in Court is a powerful example of community partners working together to support our youngest victims. We are grateful for the dedication of NCJW Dallas, DCAC, BACA, and our Child Abuse Division."

During KIC sessions, children of different age groups participate in role-play activities and interact with professionals to understand courtroom roles and procedures. Caregivers attend sessions tailored to their needs, fostering a supportive environment where families can discuss concerns and receive guidance.

Irish Burch, President and CEO of Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, emphasized the program's impact: "Kids in Court prepares our clients, who have faced traumatic experiences, for the challenging court process. It demystifies the proceedings and provides crucial support during vulnerable moments."

Founded in 1994 through the efforts of NCJW Dallas and the District Attorney’s Office, Kids in Court has expanded to assist children aged two to eighteen who are victims of violent crimes or witnesses to violence. Elaine Stillman, President of NCJW Dallas, shared her volunteer experience, highlighting the joy the program brings to children facing court appearances.

The 30th anniversary celebration recently gathered 23 children, 24 teenagers, and their families, underscoring the program's enduring impact in the community.

ADA Summer Elmazi, Chief of the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office Crimes Against Children Division, affirmed the program's vital role: "Kids in Court has been instrumental in easing the judicial process for children in Dallas County over the last three decades. Our collaborative approach ensures comprehensive support for children and their families."

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