About

As an organization dedicated to ending child abuse, Family Advocates addresses the full spectrum of need with comprehensive programs for both prevention and advocacy.

Board of Directors

Darcy Hoellwarth

President and Building Committee Chair

Attorney, Darcy Hoellwarth PLLC

Eric Glouser

President Elect and Governance Committee Chair

Operation Manager, Citi

Merri Hanson

President Elect - Elect

Station Manager, KIVI/KSAW

David Turner

Treasurer

Vice President & General Manager, Office Printers at Hewlett Packard

Angie Olszewski

Advancement Committee Chair

Author, PR Specialist, Consultant

Sarah Bettwieser

Programs/CASA Committee Chair

Government Relations Consultant, Cygnet, LLC

Terry Scraggins

Secretary and Programs/Family Strengthening Committee Chair

Community Health Worker, Jesse Tree

Cordell Chigbrow

CPA, Chigbrow, Ryan & Co., Chtd.

Christian Grice

Senior Business System Administrator, Savers

Wally Hartje

Mortgage Loan Officer, D.L. Evans Bank

Amanda McDonald

Sales Compensation, Zillow Group Sales Finance Team

Stacy Pewe

VP, Regional Chief HR Officer - West Region at Trinity Health

Nichole Velasquez

Instructional Coach, West Ada School District

We are always looking for talented people to join our team.

Mission Statement

Family Advocates works to strengthen families and keep kids safe by empowering everyday people to protect and enrich the lives of youth.

Vision

To strengthen Idaho families to end child abuse.

Values

Empowering everyday people to become champions for children and families.

Encouraging ongoing education for our participants, volunteers, staff, and board members.

Building a culture of partnership internally and externally.

History

Family Advocates works to strengthen families and keep kids safe by empowering everyday people to protect and enrich the lives of youth. We are a private, independent 501 (c)(3) non-profit agency founded in 1978 and serving Southwest Idaho. Our founders, two sets of foster parents—Jean and Glen Hogin and Mr. & Mrs. Richard Murphy—saw the need for advocacy for children and established a long-term vision of seeing the end of child abuse in Idaho. Family Advocates was incorporated in Idaho on September 28, 1978.

The Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program in Idaho began late in 1980, when the Junior League, the Idaho Bar Association, and Family Advocates received permission from the Honorable Richard Grant, Juvenile Magistrate, to initiate a pilot Guardian ad Litem program in Ada County. In 1982, the CASA program officially accepted its first child protection referral and, in 1986, Family Advocates, including attorney Eric Haff, took an active role in working with legislators (carried by Rep. Celia Gould) to revise the Child Protection Act to clearly define the role of a Guardian ad Litem (GAL). The CASA program at Family Advocates serves children in foster care in the Fourth Judicial District (Ada, Boise, Elmore, and Valley Counties).

Our CASA program is structured following the Idaho State Child Protection Act and National CASA Standards. Idaho Code mandates that a trained and qualified volunteer Guardian ad Litem (GAL) be appointed to advocate for the best interests of children during the course of their child protection case. A presiding magistrate judge orders the appointment of the Family Advocates’ CASA Program and the Program appoints a volunteer GAL to each case. Guardians complete an extensive, independent review of each case and report their findings to the court, advocating for the child’s best interests.

Keeping families healthy and stable was the foundation of the Family Advocates vision. The program has evolved to include best practices and theories of modern day and has expanded out from Boise to several rural locations. In 1978, Family Advocates began working alongside families through a Home Visiting program and continues to provide systems of support through the Family Strengthening Education Program. Over the past 40 years, Family Advocates has managed family support programs such as Home Visiting, STEP, Parents Anonymous®, BabySteps, the Youth Enhancement Program, and Family Strengthening. By combining all of the working aspects of these programs into one curriculum, Family Strengthening Education (based on the 5 Protective Factors), we are able to approach each family holistically.