How One Connecticut Woman Serves as a Champion for Children

Jul 26, 2016

Originally appeared on CT Post Blog

For years, Susan Titus Glascoff and many activist groups have worked tirelessly to bring attention to one of our society’s best-kept secrets: over the past two decades, America’s legal system has ordered more than a million children into contact with an abusive parent.

Susan Titus Glascoff
Susan Titus Glascoff

The Leadership Council on Child Abuse estimates well over 58,500 children each year are placed at risk for injury because the courts have ordered them into the unsupervised care of a violent parent.

Glascoff, a nationally recognized advocate for legal reform and accountability, asserts that often in these cases, there is a power imbalance and the more powerful party hires the best lawyers.

“It becomes about who can win, rather than what is fair,” says Glascoff.

Ensuring that these children have a voice – that they are never forgotten – has become a mission that often keeps Glascoff up at night. As the founder and executive director of National Coalition for Family Justice’s National Advisory Board, she has dedicated herself to the task of igniting a widespread movement for systemic change.

That means writing letters, sending emails and engaging with stakeholders from attorneys and judges to legislators and nonprofit leaders; funding projects like the award-winning documentary No Way Out But One; and continually reaching out to the media to open up conversation on the issue of abusive custody.

“Our media needs to act as a catalyst to inspire a national public dialogue. We need an amplified, widespread discussion to bring about change, and to work for compassionate and constructive solutions,” Glascoff says.

“How about establishing a Hippocratic Oath for our legal system of ‘First, be fair?’”

Glascoff has found an effective means to sustain her mission by partnering with Fairfield County’s Community Foundation to establish a donor-advised fund. Through the fund, she provides operational support to nonprofits that are working for legal reform and social justice – and even more crucially, to award grants for projects that raise awareness for the issue of children who are failed by the legal system.

What continues to drive her, says Glascoff, is the knowledge that this work has a direct impact on our shared future.

“Doing too little, too late is not acceptable,” says Glascoff. “We are all in this together, and how our children turn out determines everything. Since kids learn what they live, isn’t abuse of or by our legal system fueling violence?”

Glascoff fiercely advocates for all to learn more about injustice and accountability issues of the legal system, especially occurring in family court.

“When more of us raise our voices on the local and national stage, these issues cannot be ignored any longer,” she says. “Together, we can create compassionate and constructive ideas and solutions to foster systematic, lasting change.”

As a trusted nonprofit partner and thought leader, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation brings together community organizers, business experts and philanthropists to solve our region’s challenges. Our goal is to create a vital and inclusive community, where every individual has the opportunity to thrive. Learn how you can establish your own donor-advised fund or partner with us to give back in your community. Together we thrive.