Child Advocates staff member Brian Robinson accepted the Jefferson Award for his outstanding service to the Indianapolis community. Please join us in congratulating Brian! His nomination is below and you can view his full interview on WRTV 6 here.
Brian Robinson changes the lives of children and individuals in our community every single day.
Professionally, Brian has spent more than 20 years as a Guardian Ad Litem at Child Advocates. Brian has dedicated his career to providing life-saving advocacy to children who are victims of abuse and neglect in our community. In this role as Guardian Ad Litem, Brian is appointed to represent children who are brought into the child welfare system. He is responsible for meeting with the child, family members, doctors, teachers, and anyone involved in the child’s life to gather information. He then provides that information to the Marion County Juvenile Court where judges use his recommendations to make informed decisions about that child. It is his job to represent the best interest of that child throughout their case until they are placed in a safe and permanent home or they age out of the child welfare system.
Brian has served hundreds of children. These children have been failed by their caregivers. These children have experienced trauma. They may have been malnourished, neglected, physically and/or sexually abused. Brian works every day in his professional career to advocate for their best interest. Brian also manages a team of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteers who assist him in advocating for the children on his caseload.
As Brian’s career as a Guardian Ad Litem has progressed, he has taken it upon himself to work more closely with older youth involved in the child welfare system. There’s often a stigma associated with older youth and it can often be hard to place them into adoptive homes. Brian talks about how forgotten they are and how he is determined to give them the support they deserve. He works closely with them to find their own strengths and helps them capitalize on that. He advocates, making sure their most basic needs are met and that they are given opportunities to excel educationally.
In 2012, Brian started a mentoring program at Child Advocates. The goal of the program is to make sure that foster youth were graduating high school and becoming successful adults. In this program, youth meet once a month with speakers and trainers to prepare them for further education and overall development. They work on healthcare skills, interview skills, and resume skills. They help them understand financial literacy and set up college tours, anything that might help them as adults.
Brian also coordinates resource fairs with Pike High School to include foster kids to help them with job and college opportunities. He speaks of the children he serves like they are his own. “It’s like having your own kids,” Brian said, “and helping fill in the gaps where they don’t have built-in support systems.”
Brian is persistent in advocating to find a family for older foster youth. He’s constantly pressing programs that involve searching for extended family members. He wants to make sure he can help build a support system around the child in any way possible. In 2014, Brian was an honoree at the Indianapolis Professional Association for uplifting the community by empowering youth.
When Brian is not serving children at Child Advocates, he spends his free time devoting his service to the community. Brian has been a volunteer basketball coach for over 15 years at various schools and programs. Brian has volunteered as a tutor and served as a board member at Saint Joan of Arc Neighborhood and Youth Organization.
Brian is an active member of his church, Eastern Star. He has been a member of the church choir since 2015. He volunteers his time with the couple’s ministry at Eastern Star and is involved in the homeless feeding program. Brian spends time visiting elderly church members and friends to check in and helps fix things in their homes they would otherwise have to pay someone to do. He’s also a Dayspring Volunteer, serving dinner at his church on the 3rd Tuesday of every month.
When speaking to his supervisors, friends, and colleagues about Brian, you’ll hear nothing but countless wonderful remarks.
“Brian is an unusually thoughtful person. He remembers and recognizes things you wouldn’t typically think a guy would. After all this time, he still realizes how much the little things matter.” – Chris Mundy (Brian’s longtime friend and colleague)
“Brian is conscientious, determined and dedicated to serving our youth. He spends his professional and personal time to help the children he serves. He goes above and beyond. Brian has remained in this field for over 20 years. He’s dedicated himself to our youth and this community. He is the type of person who would never expect recognition, but certainly deserves it.” – Gregg Ellis, Chief of Juvenile Court Program at Child Advocates (Brian’s Direct Supervisor)
“On behalf of our children, Brian has always held everyone to a high standard, including himself. Over the years, Brian has represented hundreds of foster youth. His goal has always been to find their strengths and help them develop into independent adults. He is always open to supporting youth who are technically off his caseload and have already transitioned out the system. They recognize him as someone they can depend on and they come back to him looking for continued support and guidance.” – Cindy Booth, Chief Executive Officer at Child Advocates
Brian is a remarkable person. He’s a heroic servant to the community. Brian is someone people aspire to be like. Without a doubt, Brian is most deserving of the Jefferson Award. Brian has dedicated his life to helping others, improving lives and community service.