Liana Lowey Seeks to Help Abused and Neglected Children

In 2008, Voices for Children provided Court Appointed Social Advocate volunteers

Written by: CEHD Communications Staff
Post date: April 13, 2010

"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." — William James

Liana Lowey '99, works to make a difference in the lives of children every day.

As the executive director of Voices for Children, an organization serving Brazos, Grimes and Burleson counties, Liana helps children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect.

Liana, who earned her master's in human resource development from Texas A&M University in 2000, started working in social services at the Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation in Bryan. That position opened her eyes to the plight of children living in unstable homes.

"I had that moment of ‘wow, I was really lucky growing up.' It really hit me hard to see so many people in need," she says.

Liana came to Voices for Children as a volunteer coordinator in 2001. She realized she had found a calling that utilized her talents and training as well as satisfied her desire to help others.

Established in Bryan in 2000, Voices for Children is part of a national program that began in 1977 to match a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) with a child or sibling who is placed under the care of the state.

Liana knows that when children come into the legal and social service system, it's easy for them to get lost in a bureaucratic maze with a shifting group of strangers - police, foster parents, social workers, therapists, judges and attorneys. CASA volunteers provide familiar faces and act as representatives for the child as his or her case winds through the court system.

Last year, Voices for Children provided CASA volunteers for 161 cases, but the organization is still in need of additional volunteers to fully meet the needs of all foster children in its service area.

"The volunteers are really the foundation of our organization, which allows us to do what we do for the kids," Liana says.

Voices for Children also hosts Adoption Days to encourage adoption and Emancipation Showers to provide youth aging out of foster care with basic household items to set up their first home.

Liana also helped implement the Wednesday's Child campaign, which partners with local media outlets such as KBTX, The Eagle and Anuncio Digital Media to highlight a child waiting for an adoptive home.

"My hope for each of the kids we work with is for them to have every opportunity to grow up to be happy, healthy and successful adults," Liana says. "Each of our kids has so much potential, and it breaks my heart to think of a door being closed on them that, had it been opened, would have put them on an entirely different trajectory of experiences. That thought keeps me going."