The mission of the Weiss Advocacy Center is to prevent child abuse and help survivors become children again. It was named in honor of Judge Robert E. Weiss of Flint (1940-2009) who loved children, and spent much of his life protecting them in his role as Genesee County prosecutor and later, as chief probate judge.
The Weiss Advocacy Center works in conjunction with many other entities such as law enforcement and the Department of Human Services. The organization has a direct impact on society’s ability to prosecute and punish child abusers. Local law enforcement representatives say that the current system improves chances of conviction by at least 50%.
The Weiss Advocacy Center saves children’s lives. Although the system continually tries to protect them, children do literally die of abuse and neglect. However, life for an abused child can be a fate almost worse than death. Children who are shuttled from one home to another, separated from parents and siblings, lost in the child welfare maze, do not become healthy, well-adjusted, well-educated and successful adults. Instead, they have a disturbingly high incidence of depression, suicide, unwanted pregnancy, unemployment, and welfare dependence. Ultimately, many of them repeat the cycle and abuse their own children because they have never known anything different.
The Weiss Advocacy Center throws a monkey wrench into that cycle of abuse. Their caring and compassionate intervention can stabilize children long enough for them to begin healing. They can truly help victims of child abuse become children again. In the process, their support helps parents learn new patterns of behavior, and new ways to cope with the frustrations that are often a precursor for child abuse and neglect.