As an advocate, Anita Frank truly is the one caring, consistent adult presence we so often talk about when referencing our volunteers.
Without Anita’s commitment and advocacy, it’s difficult to think about where the child on her case would be.
“I will never forget meeting the child I work with for the first time,” Anita said. “I was excited and apprehensive, but as soon as I met her the apprehension was gone. She became a real little girl, sweet and innocent, whereas before she was a thick stack of reports detailing a long history of abuse and neglect.”
It’s so easy for children to feel lost in the system. To feel like nothing more than a case file. But advocates like Anita give these children the hope and connection they need.
Anita’s dedicated advocacy for this young girl is inspired by a quote from Fred Rogers.
“As Mr. Rogers once said, ‘There isn’t anyone you couldn’t love once you’ve heard their story,’” Anita said.
“An important part of this is helping the children to realize how special and valuable they are, and to assure them that they are worthy of being loved.”
Anita was sworn-in as a court appointed special advocate in the spring of 2018 and was appointed to this case just a few weeks later.
While none of these cases are easy, Anita has been by her child’s side as she’s gone through so much in these short months.
Anita has been a constant, stable, loving presence at her child’s educational meetings, at court hearings, and during emergency housing placements. She’s advocated for ways to help this child overcome her trauma and move to a place of stability and healing.
“This year has been filled with ups and downs, but I am honored to be there with her through it all,” she said, adding that she is always guiding her child to become her best possible self.
A Wilkes Barre native, Anita spent more than 25 years working locally as an Occupational Therapist, a job she now does part-time. She and her husband, Alec, are parents to five children, two grandchildren, and another grandchild on the way.
There are 440 children in Luzerne County foster care who are waiting for someone like Anita to take their hand and help them through the system.
If you’d like to make the kind of change Anita is making, we invite you to attend one of our upcoming info sessions. Visit our website and register for the session that works best for you. And please feel free to reach out to us with any questions. We’d love to talk to you about how you can help.