Children’s Rights Board member James Stanton — president of the World Wide Group — explains his passion for defending abused and neglected children.
Children’s issues have always been important to James Stanton. So when his close friend and colleague, civil rights attorney Richard Emery, asked him to become a part of CR, he stepped in and joined the board in 2010.
“The more I found out about CR, the more I realized it was an important organization whose goal is trying to fix monumental problems in a huge system. It’s trying to fix a system which is broken in most states in the United States. The statistics you hear are heart-wrenching. On any given day, there are nearly 400,000 kids in the system and an unacceptable number are being abused or neglected. I don’t think people are aware of that at all.”
The individual stories of children — those whom CR defends and those who bravely recount their experiences each year at CR’s annual benefit — stick with Stanton.
“They’re very hard to hear, a lot of these young people have made it through an incredible amount of suffering. At the annual benefit, their stories bring many of the guests to tears, myself included.”
Stanton says the range of issues that desperately need to be addressed within child welfare are extensive. “There are too few caseworkers overseeing too many cases. The splitting up of siblings, the overuse of psychotropic drugs, the physical and sexual abuse — it goes on and on.”
As a father of twin boys, Stanton is motivated personally, he says, to continue to work on behalf of vulnerable children.
“I think that any parent would feel the same way. When you look at your own kids, you know their lives turned out differently … If you’re looking to address the needs of children, the earlier the better. Which is one of the reasons I think CR is such an important organization.”
Read additional articles in Notes from the Field, the Children’s Rights Newsletter: