The Superior Courthouse in Orange County, California, is home to six CCLC centers thanks to the addition of Harbor Justice Center at Children’s Chambers. Last year, the centers served a total of 4,588 children.
“Preparing to open the new center was very exciting and challenging at the same time,” said Ruthie Perez, center director of Harbor Justice Center. “This was a brand new department in this particular courthouse; the different departments from District Attorneys to Public Defenders have been extremely welcoming toward us.”
Children pass through the Courthouse CCLCs while their parents conduct business at the various government offices. Often times, a child’s first day will also be their last. Some children whose families are going through a long-term process get to stay longer, some even from birth to the age of 16. Children at Chambers might be going through a custody battle, mediation, or have parents who are incarcerated.
Ruthie and her team are excited to offer another space where these children can have fun and learn in the midst of their chaotic lives.
“These children have seen so much in their young lives,” she said. “Having another Courthouse Children’s Chambers open offers us another opportunity to help a child in need and introduce them to high quality education at the same time.”