Oklahoma Lawyers for Children Inc
800 N HARVEY AVE
OKLAHOMA CITY OK 73102-2813
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Organization Does Business As (DBA) Name(s)
Organization DBA
OLFC
Mission Statement We are volunteers championing for children who are abused, neglected and in need of legal services. 
Contact Information
Contact Name Tsinena Thompson
Contact email TThompson@OLFC.org
Address 800 N HARVEY AVE
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK 73102 2813
Phone (405) 232-4453
County County
How to Give
Other ways to donate, support or volunteer mailing a check, PayPal, in-kind, volunteering, providing support services
Financial Summary
 
 
Projected Revenue $438,150.00
Projected Expenses $438,150.00
History and Background
Year Founded 1997
IRS Ruling Year 1998
State Registration Expiration Feb 2016
Statements
Mission We are volunteers championing for children who are abused, neglected and in need of legal services. 
Background OLFC began in 1997 following a "Child Watch" tour sponsored by the OK Dept. of Mental Health wherein the needs of children in Oklahoma County's juvenile justice system were highlighted.  On the bus ride home, OLFC's founders Don R. Nicholson and D. Kent Meyers hatched the idea of recruiting volunteer lawyers to help children's cases that had been languishing in the system for years.  The two began recruiting volunteers immediately and by the next spring, had an administrative order in place that allowed attorneys volunteering with OLFC to represented children in OKDHS protective custody.  What began then as a grass roots organization has blossomed into a thriving, sustainable non-profit that continually seeks to meet the ever changing needs of children in need.  In addition to OLFC providing attorneys to represent children in deprived cases (under Oklahoma law, the appointment of an attorney to represent each child in protective custody is mandatory), but we represent children in adoptions, contested step-parent adoptions, prepare guardianships, name changes and a myriad of other services to enhance the lives of children in foster care.  Our non-lawyer programs mentor children and help with school work, we provide healthy activities for children so that over worked foster families can have a little break.  We teach the importance of education, healthy lifestyles, exercise and kindness towards others. 
Impact

 Accomplishments:

 

1. We have accepted every child's case that has been referred to Oklahoma Lawyers for Children for representation and assigned a volunteer attorney to that child.

2. OLFC is the exclusive provider of legal representation for every child entering OKDHS protective custody at the daily Emergency Show Cause hearings held 5 days a week, 52 weeks per year.

3. OLFC's audited financials demonstrate that 87% of the dollars given to OLFC go directly to programming providing direct services to children. 7% goes to overhead and administration and 6% to fundraising.

4. With an annual budget of approximately $280,000, OLFC provides over $4.2 million dollars worth of services to children and families in need.

Goals:

1. To continue to provide not just adequate, but exceptional legal representation for children in need.

2. To grow OLFC's new attorney guardian ad litem program in Oklahoma to bring Oklahoma in line with best practices for child in juvenile deprived cases.

3. To continue to develop OLFC's Mentor/Mentee program that seeks to help keep children in foster care engaged in school and learning, assist them with learning "real life skills" that will help them with life outside of foster care thereby enhancing chances for a successful and productive adult life.

4. To provide healthy and educational outlets for children in foster care with an emphasis on healthy living, eating and exercise and living their lives to its fullest potential.

5. To provide as many children with permanency as possible.

Needs

1.  A development director who can assist with the fundraising and marketing needs of the organization.

2.  A full-time Volunteer Coordinator/Legal Assistant that understands the legal system and can coordinate OLFC's volunteers for its various programs.

3.  More attorney volunteers to meet the legal needs of OLFC's case load.  
CEO/Executive Director Statement OLFC strives to be fluid and flexible to meet the ever changing needs of children and families in foster care.  It is difficult for many to understand why a child in foster care needs his or her own attorney. The short answer is that an attorney is required by Oklahoma law to be appointed for every single child in custody.  Only the juvenile Public Defenders and OLFC can provide this service.  OLFC is the only organization that provides this pro bono service.  OLFC is an organization that maintains it's primary programs for children but is also flexible enough to see a need and step in to fill that need.  OLFC is not funded through state or local government or contracts.  In this manner, the organization can provide assistance to other agencies or non-profits that need the help of OLFC.  For example, by providing guardianships and adoptions for free, families that may be willing to provide a permanent home for a child can attain that goal without incurring expense.  OLFC's volunteers that go into the field and reassess foster homes, do so in order that social workers can focus on the needs of children and families rather than "pushing paper."  This service also helps to relieve stressors on foster families because with timely reassessment of their home, foster payments will not be interrupted.  OLFC provides healthy activities for children that incorporate education/literacy, cultural awareness and healthy eating habits and lifestyles for children. 
Board Chair Statement OLFC constantly faces overcoming the perception that it is a "lawyers" organization.  What we are an organization of volunteers lawyers and non-lawyers that serve abused and neglected children.  We are also challenged to recruit the number of attorney volunteers needed to meet the demand for our services.  The time commitments for cases referred to OLFC are intense and average about 2.5 years which is substantial for a practicing attorney. Few attorneys that come into our ranks with experience in juvenile law - and make no mistake it is a complicated area of the law.  Given that a child's future hangs in the balance, this is intimidating work for those not trained in juvenile law.  OLFC spends considerable time providing live trainings and shadowing opportunities for new volunteers before assigning them their own case.  It was no different for me when I became an OLFC volunteer in late 1997.  I felt horribly about the child's case that I read about, but I knew nothing about juvenile law or even where the juvenile court was.  The girl I was to represent had so many outbursts with foster families that she had been moved 8 or 9 time before I was assigned to her case.  I was actually a little afraid to meet her at first. But I soon began to realize that her outbursts was largely due to her own fears about her future, who would be there and who would not.  During the 3 years that I represented her, I drove to 3 different cities to bring her back because she ran away from the foster home.  What was wrong?  Were they mean to her?  I learned from that first case how strong a child's heartstrings are to their parents, no matter how awful the parent.  This young girl was answering her mother's plea to come home and live with her and her boyfriend (and others).  Everything would be fine the mom said.  She went there the first time and was picked up when mom and boyfriend were driving and stopped with stolen property in the car.  She called me to come get her.  We talked on the way back about maybe mom wasn't quite ready to be able to take care of her yet.  Okay.  Another foster placement.  Then mom contacts her again.  They have a place to live now.  She goes.  This time she calls me before the police some.  Mom and boyfriend have a drug problem and she isn't going to school like she thought she would.  Next call comes from when "she" is really scared because mom's friends "like" her too much and she's afraid to go to sleep at night because she's afraid someone will come and visit her again in her room - again.  When I last came to pick her up, she was almost ready to be eligible to enter the DHS Independent Living program.  But she hadn't finished high school, had never had a job and had no clue what she would need to survive much less get ahead.  We had a lot of work to do.  In the end, she got her GED and we worked on getting her a job.  She finally got her driver's license, moved into an apartment with a cousin and got her hair and nail certification through Metro Tech.  She's now 25 years old, has her car and lives and works in Colorado Springs.  I've been a committed volunteer ever since.  One thing that I've learned from working with the children served by OLFC is that they really, really need you, but the life you change may also be your own.    
Area Served
Area Served
Geographic Area Served
Central Oklahoma
Oklahoma County
Oklahoma City Metropolitan Statistical Area (all 7 counties)
The majority of OLFC's work is performed in Oklahoma County proper, however a large population of those children who have cases in Oklahoma County, live outside of Oklahoma County in the surrounding 7 counties. 
Service Categories
Secondary Organizational Category Public & Societal Benefit/Public & Societal Benefit NEC
Tertiary Organizational Category Human Services/Children's and Youth Services
Programs
Description Every child picked up and placed into DHS protective custody is required by law to have an attorney to represent him or her at the Emergency Show Cause hearing to determine the lawfulness of the pickup.  OLFC attorney volunteers are the exclusive providers of legal representation for these children and appear at all hearings 5 days a week, 52 weeks per year.  OLFC recruits the volunteers, trains them for this docket, coordinates the volunteers for this daily docket and provides the results to the proper agency thereafter. 
Strategy
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Victims At-Risk Populations
Program Short-term SuccessHelpDescription of short-term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. Every child entering OKDHS protective has a volunteer attorney to represent his or her legal needs at these daily hearings.  The representation results in children remaining in protective custody if the case so warrants, or a return to the child's home if the State or OKDHS was overzealous in removing the child.  Often, the volunteer attorney is able to work with the family and OKDHS on preventative measures that will allow the child to remain in his or her home with services provided to keep the child safe.
Program Long-term SuccessHelpDescription of the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future or represent an ideal state. This program has been in existence since 1998 and since its inception, OLFC has continually provided a volunteer attorney for every Emergency Show Cause hearing taking place 5 days a week, 52 weeks per year to provide the mandatory attorney representation for child victims entering OKDHS protective custody.
Program Success MonitoringHelpDescription of the tools used to measure or track program impact. OLFC utilizes an online docketing system to ensure that a volunteer attorney is available for each day of the week.  We also hold bi-annual trainings for this particular program to ensure competency.  We know that this program is successful because the juvenile judiciary, public defenders and district attorneys rely on OLFC exclusively to provide this service. 
Examples of Program SuccessHelpSpecific examples of changes in behaviors or testimonies of changes that demonstrate program success. Currently there are over 5,000 children in OKDHS custody in our metro area.  OLFC attorney volunteers provided legal representation to each and every child.  This number represents the children who remained in custody.  We do not track those that were picked up unlawfully and returned home, however there are those instances. 
Description  Volunteer attorneys are recruited, trained and managed to assume full responsibility for the representation of deprived children's cases.  These cases often require the volunteer attorney to handle very complex legal cases involving multiple parties, including the Indian Child Welfare Act, immigration and naturalization issues, jury trials and appeals.  The volunteer attorneys needs are supported through the organization which includes investigators, court reporters, process servers and others.  OLFC averages receiving approximately 6-8 new cases of this nature each week. 
Strategy
Population Served Victims At-Risk Populations Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Short-term SuccessHelpDescription of short-term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. OLFC staff assumes responsibility of all cases referred until a trained, qualified volunteer attorney is assigned to the case.  Typically, a volunteer is assigned to a case within 2 weeks to 30 days of referral.  However, OLFC remains committed that no child's case will be delayed while waiting for a volunteer so we handle them in-house until that time. 
Program Long-term SuccessHelpDescription of the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future or represent an ideal state.  A study was conducted randomly selecting Oklahoma County cases where an OLFC volunteer attorney represented the child and against cases where the child was not represented by OLFC.  The following is a summary of the findings from that study.  Children represented by OLFC spent 23% less time in foster care; experienced 57% fewer changes in placement; were 66% better off physically; 57% better off emotionally; and 69% better educationally than children who where not represented by an OLFC volunteer attorney.
Program Success MonitoringHelpDescription of the tools used to measure or track program impact. OLFC routinely engages in evaluations of its services by having studies performed comparing random OLFC cases against similar cases where an OLFC volunteer is not assigned to understand the outcomes and successes.
Examples of Program SuccessHelpSpecific examples of changes in behaviors or testimonies of changes that demonstrate program success. Successes are different for each child.  Success in one case may mean reunification with biological parents. In a similar case it may mean that parental rights are terminated and the child is adopted.  We measure success one child at a time.
Description This is the first attorney GAL program in juvenile courts in the State of Oklahoma.  The majority of states incorporate both an attorney for the child and an attorney guardian ad litem program, but Oklahoma has not adopted this model until the Oklahoma Supreme Court and the Oklahoma County juvenile presiding judge requested OLFC to implement such a program.  This program began in 2014 and is rapidly expanding.
Strategy
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Victims At-Risk Populations
Program Short-term SuccessHelpDescription of short-term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. In its first six months of operation, OLFC's attorney GAL program was assigned the oldest cases in one courtroom and in a different courtroom, the GAL program was assigned to ALL new cases.  In the first 3 months, 11 out of the 18 oldest cases assigned to the OLFC GAL program were successfully CLOSED!  These cases had remained open and unresolved in excess of 6 years and were closed within 3 months.  Four were closed by the attorney GAL preparing guardianships so that the children could achieve permanency.  Four cases involved termination of parental rights - with the parents agreeing to relinquishment.  Two cases resolved by the children returning to grandparents and in one case the child aged out and the OLFC GAL made arrangements for the transition into life outside of foster care with the child and post secondary education and housing. 
Program Long-term SuccessHelpDescription of the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future or represent an ideal state. The ultimate changes with this program is that resolutions to deprived cases can occur more quickly.  Children can be reunified more quickly when an attorney guardian ad litem oversees the case.  An attorney guardian ad litem is an invaluable asset when jury trials concerning the termination of parental rights is being held.  Also attorney GALs can assist foster families and biological families to attain necessary services essential for the welfare of children and ultimately families. 
Program Success MonitoringHelpDescription of the tools used to measure or track program impact.

 The program is currently monitored in-house by OLFC's CEO, the presiding juvenile judge and DHS case managers. 
 

Examples of Program SuccessHelpSpecific examples of changes in behaviors or testimonies of changes that demonstrate program success. When we are able to achieve permanency as described above, we know that this program is successful.  Additionally, all of the juvenile judges are requesting that the OLFC attorney GAL program is implemented in their courtrooms.
Description This program targets at risk foster care youth between the ages of 13-18 and pairs the child with an OLFC Mentor who works with the child to address problems in school, social skills, healthy eating habits, learn how to interview for jobs, prepare resumes, open and maintain a bank account, apply for health insurance and benefits, apply for financial assistance for school and many other practical life skills. 
Strategy
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) At-Risk Populations Victims
Program Short-term SuccessHelpDescription of short-term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. Children begin to believe in their own destiny.  Children believe that they can change their futures without being dependent on past circumstances in life holding them back.  Children become more confident that their futures will be better.
Program Long-term SuccessHelpDescription of the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future or represent an ideal state. With assistance such as this youth involved in the program will experience less homelessness, better paying jobs and less unemployment.  Greater self sufficiency and confidence.  Greater independency from social service programs.  Better understanding of healthy living habits.
Program Success MonitoringHelpDescription of the tools used to measure or track program impact. Surveys, tracking employment and post secondary education enrollments.  Changes in eating and exercise habits. 
Examples of Program SuccessHelpSpecific examples of changes in behaviors or testimonies of changes that demonstrate program success. OLFC has not had this program in operation long enough to have statistics yet. 
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Tsinena Bruno-Thompson
Start Date Apr 2010
Email TThompson@OLFC.org
Experience Ms. Thompson has been a practicing attorney since 1994 and been a volunteer with the organization since it began in 1997.  She has a multitude of private business experience in diverse fields.  Ms. Thompson has completed the Standards of Excellence program and many other programs through the Center for Non-Profits.  Ms. Thompson took a struggling founder driven non-profit and within the first year tripled its volunteer base and over the next two years took the organization from struggling non-profit to a sustainable and fiscally responsible non-profit.
Senior Staff
NameTitle
Shawnnessey BlackStaff Attorney
Staff
Number of Full-time Staff 3
Number of Part-time Staff 1
Number of Contract Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 1700
Staff Retention Rate 100
Are professional development opportunities provided? Yes
Does CEO/Executive Director have formal evaluations? Yes
Management reports to board? N/A
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 3
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 1
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 1
Female 4
Organizational Plans
Fundraising Plan Under Development
Policy against commission-based compensation for fundraising consultant No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan Under Development
Number of Years Strategic Plan Considers 4
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Dec 2014
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policies and Procedures Yes
Collaborations

Count Me In 4 Kids Collaborative

P3 for Education - OKDHS
 

Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government (federal, state and/or local)? No
Board Chair
Name Dr. Phillip Comp
Company Affiliation OU Health Sciences Center
Term Jan 2017 to Dec 2019
Email phillip-comp@ouhsc.edu
Board of Directors
List Current as of Jan 01, 2017
Board of Directors List
NameAffiliationStatus
Tsinena Bruno-Thompson Oklahoma Lawyers for ChildrenVoting
Derek K. Burch Burch, George & Germany, P.C.Voting
Leanne Burnett Crowe & Dunlevy Voting
Dr. Philip Comp OU Health Sciences CenterVoting
M. Joe Crosthwait, Jr. The Crosthwait Law FirmVoting
John Hermes McAfee & Taft DirectorVoting
Ed Lake Director OKDHSExofficio
Jim Larimore Durbin Larimore & Bialick, P.CVoting
D. Kent Meyers Crowe & Dunlevy DirectorVoting
Don R. Nicholson Retired co-founderVoting
Suzanne Pointer Metheny & PointerVoting
David Prater Oklahoma County District AttorneyExofficio
Robert Ravitz Oklahoma County Public DefenderExofficio
Alisa S Shaddix White Middleton, Nowakowski & SmithVoting
Dr. John Stuemky Children's HospitalVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 23
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 3
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 11
Female 4
Governance
Board Term Lengths 5 years
Percentage of Board Making Monetary Contributions to the Organization 0 %
Percentage of Board Making In-Kind Contributions to the Organization 2 %
Board Orientation Yes
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria? No
Standing Committees
Executive
Board Development / Board Orientation
Board Governance
Finance
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
Constituent Board
Constituent Board Members
NameAffiliation
Rebecca King Community Volunteer
Terra Parten McAfee & Taft
Micah Robinson Gungoll Jackson
Reggie Sims RK Black
Comments on Board & Governance
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments All organizations have challenges.  This is very much a working/problem solving board.  Our significant challenges have never been a lack of clients, but maintaining sufficient numbers of properly trained volunteers which simply takes time and is an ongoing process.  This is training that takes time to develop and has to be given to new volunteers on an ongoing basis and always will be.
Current Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2017-Dec 31, 2017
Current Year Budgeted Total Income $438,150
Current Year Budgeted Total Expenses $438,150
Financial Documents
Form 9902015
Form 9902014
Form 9902013
9902012
9902011
IRS Letter of Determination
Prior Three Years' Financial History
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Contributions------
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
------
Government Contributions$301,959$230,083$38,463
Federal------
State------
Local------
Unspecified$301,959$230,083$38,463
Individual Contributions----$63,912
------
--$26,609$13,700
Investment Income, Net of Losses--$573$112
Unrealized Gain/Loss------
Membership Dues------
Special Events$173,633$79,556$90,034
Revenue In-Kind------
Other------
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$235,064$232,377$234,695
Administration Expense$18,538$3,322$17,669
Fundraising Expense$154,637$7,413$17,398
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.161.390.76
Program Expense/Total Expenses58%96%87%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue33%2%9%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$502,095$382,617$329,519
Current Assets$499,216$376,807$316,089
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities$1,098$5,642--
Total Net Assets$500,997$376,975$329,519
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities454.6666.79--
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Funding Sources
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountGovt - Unspecified $301,959Govt - Unspec $230,083Special Events $90,034
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountSpecial Events $173,633Special Events $79,556Individuals $63,912
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount --Earned Revenue $26,609Govt - Unspecified $38,463
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next Five Years? No
Comments on Financials
Foundation Staff Comments
All prior financial information is from IRS Form 990s.
 
NOTE:  Per Form 990s, prior period adjustments for the following FY2015, FY2014, and FY2013 were $56,669, ($46,253), and $33,468, respectively. 
 
The financial information presented is obtained from the following sources: IRS Form 990, independent audit reports, financial statements – board approved when available, and supplemental information from the organization. We do not warrant or guarantee the timeliness, errors or inaccuracies. With respect to information regarding financial performance, nothing on this website should be interpreted as a statement or interpretation by OCCF staff. 
 
Organizations with a GiveSmartOKC profile are responsible for updating information annually within 45 days following the end of their fiscal year.

 
Address 800 N HARVEY AVE
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK 73102 2813
Primary Phone 405 232-4453
Contact Email TThompson@OLFC.org
CEO/Executive Director Tsinena Bruno-Thompson
Board Chair Dr. Phillip Comp
Board Chair Company Affiliation OU Health Sciences Center