New CEO of Child Advocates – Meet Phyllis Armstrong

Posted on January 5th, 2024

Phyllis Armstrong

INDIANAPOLIS—At the end of 2023, the Child Advocates Board of Directors announced that Phyllis Armstrong, a long-time experienced leader and attorney at Child Advocates, would be the nonprofit organization’s next Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Armstrong assumed her new position on January 1, 2024, succeeding Child Advocates’ CEO Cindy Booth who retired after nearly 30 years of leading the organization. Armstrong had been serving as the Vice President of Program Operations for Child Advocates. She is an attorney with a rich and respected history in various leadership roles at Child Advocates since joining the organization 26 years ago.

Katharine Malarsky, our Board Chair at the time of the announcement, said, “It quickly became clear to us that Phyllis is a strong champion of children and families as well as a strong supporter of all Child Advocates’ staff. She and Cindy have worked closely to transition responsibilities, roles, and relationships, so I have no doubt the transition will go smoothly.”

Former CEO Cindy Booth views Phyllis’s long tenure and experience with the organization as a great asset as Child Advocates made this critical transition. “Child Advocates’ staff and I are so pleased with the selection of Phyllis Armstrong as our new CEO. Phyllis leads with integrity, knowledge, and commitment to children and youth.” Booth continued, “During her time here, Phyllis has created programs and developed and mentored staff. Her strong leadership and vision will meet the challenges ahead as Child Advocates continues its transition to a statewide agency focusing on justice, equity, and well-being for Indiana’s children.”

Phyllis has a comprehensive understanding of our organization and its programs for vulnerable children. For many years, she served as the director of Mediation, one of our key programs serving children placed in the child welfare system after experiencing abuse or neglect at home. Through mediation, Phyllis and other Child Advocates’ attorneys bring together all parties involved in a child’s case so they can help resolve disputes and conflicts. This can prevent long court trials and help children leave the child welfare system and find a safe and secure home sooner.

Phyllis Armstrong stated, “I’m proud to be a part of an organization that has been building and sustaining transformational programs addressing unmet needs of children in the child welfare system and others who are at risk of system involvement throughout Indiana. I look forward to leading the agency and supporting our exceptionally experienced and dedicated staff as we continue to champion vulnerable children in need throughout the state. Child Advocates’ future is promising thanks to the foundation that Cindy worked tirelessly to set.”

Child Advocates offers vital programs and services for vulnerable children and youth in Marion County and statewide through a race equity lens. We serve children and youth in the child welfare system who have experienced abuse and neglect. We connect children experiencing serious mental health or behavioral challenges to statewide services for help. We offer free educational liaisons to children who are struggling in school due to life traumas and challenges. And we advocate for racial equity in child welfare and in our communities to help build a better future for every child. You can learn more about all of our programs at Child Advocates.