Our Vision

Council for Children’s Rights envisions a community committed to standing up, speaking out, and acting to ensure every child’s right to be safe, healthy, and well-educated.

Our Mission

We improve the lives and futures of children in Mecklenburg County through legal representation, individual advocacy, and by addressing community-wide issues through research and policy work.

Our Work

We defend and champion the rights of children to be supported and treated with fairness, compassion, and respectregardless of personal obstacles. We work to achieve our mission by:

Providing legal services and advocacy for individual children in the areas of child welfare, custody, delinquency, mental health, and special education.

Engaging our community to use research that informs policies, improves systems, and solves complex problems facing children.

Educating and training professionals, parents, and others who represent, work with, and care for children to become more effective advocates.

Collaborating with community partners by providing expertise, leadership, and support to create cooperative solutions that achieve better outcomes for our children.

Our Core Values

Children First

In all we do, children come first.  Every child deserves love, respect, and a supportive environment.  All children are entitled to the dignity, equality, and protection accorded to other members of the community. We believe children should have a voice in matters that affect their lives and futures.


We strive to genuinely understand the needs and realities of those we serve and of those with whom we work, actively listening and empathizing with their unique perspectives and experiences.


We are committed to doing what is right for children even when their cause is demanding, challenging, or unpopular.  We strive to be innovative problem solvers, willing to ask hard questions and challenge the status quo.


We set high standards for ourselves and our community.  We are accountable to each other, to our supporters, to our partners and, above all, to children. We maintain high standards of personal and professional performance: honesty, fairness, transparency, trustworthiness, and adherence to the ethical codes and standards of our professions. We take responsibility for thoughtfully managing our human and financial resources, and for setting meaningful goals and achieving measurable results.


We value and cultivate effective partnerships with all who work with and for children in our community, seeking opportunities to broaden the potential impact of our vision and mission on the lives of children and families. We share what we know with the broader community.  We support, promote, and encourage the good work done for the welfare of children by those outside our agency.


We are unwavering in our commitment to children.  Recognizing that real change does not happen quickly, we take a long-view that values empathy, trust, persistence, and determination. We will not give up when problems are difficult or take a long time to solve.


We recognize and value the uniqueness of individuals and we are committed to a culture of acceptance and inclusivity. Our advocacy work benefits from the contributions of people with diverse personal backgrounds as we seek to assure that involvement of children in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems is not determined by race or ethnicity, that outcomes for children in our systems are not determined by race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender, or disability, and that all of our children have an equal opportunity to a childhood that prepares them to realize their potential in a bright future.

The History of the Council

Council for Children’s Rights, formed through the 2006 merger of the former Council for Children and the former Children’s Law Center, is one of the most comprehensive child advocacy and child legal services agencies of its kind in North Carolina.

The 2006 merger between the Council for Children (founded in 1979) and The Children’s Law Center (founded in 1987) was a natural fit between two agencies that already shared a long history of collaboration and strong reputations for protecting the rights of children.  Today, the Council continues that tradition of service and collaboration with an even larger, stronger, and more diverse professional staff providing a comprehensive array of legal and advocacy services for children.

Our organization has a rich history of offering legal representation, as well as local and legislative policy advocacy, for children with educational, mental health, abuse and neglect, delinquency, and custody issues.  In 2009, the Larry King Center was created and with it, a deeper capacity for research, policy advocacy, and community planning.  The LKC was charged with serving an intermediary function in the community with the goal of resource alignment for the benefit of all children.

The incorporation of a research component was designed to ensure the scientific basis for decision-making.  The dissemination of research on best practices, and enhancement of program evaluation, allow the Council, and the community, to make informed decisions about expanding the capacity and impact of programs that work.

In 2014, the Council’s vision for this work resulted in the decision to move forward in a more fully integrated way, united under one name, with the singular mission to lead the community to ensure that all our children grow up safe, healthy, and educated.

As our organization continues to evolve, we strive to maximize capacity, increase service, and influence systemic change for children.  The systems issues we address are identified through our work with individual children.  Because the complexities of the issues pose such a challenge to a single organization, we often collaborate with other community agencies to expand our joint influence.

Notable Names in our History

Larry King, long-time executive director at the Council for Children and celebrated child advocate.  Dolly Tate, who along with the Junior League of Charlotte, the United Way and the League of Women Voters, founded the Council for Children in 1979 to provide an independent voice to protect the best interests of children.

Katie Holliday, Phil Redmond, Maggie Timothy, and Bill Underwood – all former executive directors at The Children’s law Center. The CLC was an outgrowth of Advocates for Children in Court (ACC), which preceded the current Guardian Ad Litem program, now run by the NC Office of the Administrative Courts. Among those involved in the establishment of ACC and later CLC were The Honorable William G. Jones, Robert McCarter, Sara McDonnell, Larry King, and Katie Holliday.

Frequently Asked Questions

Council for Children’s Rights is Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s leading advocate for children, providing both direct assistance to children in need today and working for the well-being of all children in the future. Our mission is to lead the community to stand up for every child’s right to be safe, healthy, and educated.

We provide legal representation, custody & individual advocacy for some of the most at-risk children in the Mecklenburg County.

Our advocacy work focuses primarily in the areas of education, abuse and neglect, mental health, custody, domestic violence and juvenile justice. We engage the community to work with us for system reforms and public policies that address the needs and future of all our children.

In the event of an emergency requiring law enforcement or medical assistance, dial 911.

Custody and Juvenile Defense cases are by court appointment only.

For non-emergencies, you can contact the Council via our Information and Resource lines:
Phone: 704-943-9609
Email:   gethelp@cfcrights.org

Each request received will be reviewed by appropriate staff who will respond within one week.   

Council for Children’s Rights was formed in 2006 through the merger of the Council for Children and the Children’s Law Center. Both groups worked tirelessly to advocate for children in crisis, and in merging they created the largest child advocacy agency in the state.   

Children lack a voice.  They are not in a position to effectively articulate their needs, confront systems that threaten them, or create strategies to find solutions. Council for Children’s Rights speaks for children when no one else will; we connect children with adults who will care; we find them the services they need in order to lead productive lives; we fight for their rights. Our experienced, knowledgeable staff members know exactly who to call, what to do, and where to go when a child’s life is in crisis. We provide hope where others find roadblocks.

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To view the most recent 990, click on the link below: 

CFCR Form 990 2015

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