In 2012, and in our first full year of operations, The I CARE Foundation accomplished many critical components that allow for an organization to continue with it's mission.
Our primary stated objective is to conduct research in the area of child abduction and trafficking, and then to use our findings to help drive new policy in the best interest of children. This objective was accomplished because of several significant and important studies that the foundation undertook: several reports have been published, others are being written, while additional studies are still underway.
Using data to drive 'best interest' policy initiatives is by far the most important aspect of the long-term goals of the foundation. On this level, we are pleased with what has been achieved this past year, including passage of SR 543, as well as groundwork for three additional legislative initiatives that we expect to have passed in 2013.
Of course, being an organization dedicated to assisting at-risk children means that on occasion we get involved with individual cases. Nevertheless, the Foundation did come to the voluntary assistance of dozens of families who directly benefitted from our aid, including playing important roles in the legal recovery of children, preventing the abduction of children, or working with the courts and social service organizations to assist in a developing a strategic plan in the best interest of a child.
Along the way, our team of trained attorneys began to create a steady trail of case law precedence in abduction prevention cases in numerous states, which, we have seen, has begun to help other at-risk children.
Now, some of my friends and family have in the past asked me why am I so deeply involved in helping at-risk children of abduction. My answer to them is the same I will share with those here: what I and my colleagues at the I CARE Foundation fight for is LIVES. Children of abduction are not simply taken by one parent to a foreign country: they are abducted by a kidnapper and severely abused. Some of these children are murdered. Some eventually commit suicide. And their targeted parents - their lives become nightmares that, unless you are in it, you can't imagine it.
I invite you to read, 'The I CARE Foundation 2012 Year In Review'. In doing so you will understand not just how important an issue we fight for, but perhaps, you may be able to one day help a child yourself.
With dozens of children reunited, and dozens of others protected from abduction, 2012 was a very good year for the I CARE Foundation, and one that we will surely build upon going into 2013.
With warm wishes to all for a happy, healthy, and successful New Year -
Happy New Year
Joel Walter, Esq.
My Life As A Litigator
As a litigator who has represented clients in an assortment of complex legal matters including but not limited to international family law matters including divorce or child abduction as well as other civil or criminal matters that require my skills as a litigator, my experience and insight has been invaluable to individuals in crisis. As a Board of Director of the I CARE Foundation, I take great pride in playing an important role in an organization that has helped reunite many children of abduction, protected many others from being kidnapped, and has created multiple outreach initiatives to stop abduction and trafficking.