Del Mar adopts proclamation to recognize Family Court Awareness Month

Del Mar City Hall
(Jon Clark)

Del Mar issued a proclamation in recognition of Family Court Awareness Month during a Nov. 14 City Council meeting.

The city’s proclamation was issued to Tracey Mueller-Gibbs of the nonprofit Family Court Awareness Month Committee.

“Child protection is often viewed as the job of social services, but family courts are ruling in cases with child abuse concerns every day,” Mueller-Gibbs said.

The nonprofit, founded in 2020, cites a statistic from the Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence that 58,000 children are exposed to contact with abusive parents after a divorce.

“The family court system becomes a new and highly effective platform for abusers, and those abusers know how to manipulate judges who aren’t trained,” Mueller-Gibbs said. “Our primary goal this year is also to shine a spotlight on the need for mandated training for judges and family court professionals who are ruling on cases with child safety and domestic violence concerns each day. Our children’s lives are literally dependent on the courts becoming educated on these issues.”

The Family Court Awareness Month organization has been seeking proclamations from local and state government bodies to recognize November as Family Court Awareness Month in their communities.

Since 2021, hundreds of city governments, and a few state governments, have adopted proclamations.

“It was quite surprising to me when I learned from them that 58,000 or more children a year are returned to unsupervised homes with abusive parents and hundreds are killed every year,” Del Mar Mayor Dwight Worden said. “So the effort of this group is to try to reduce that and promote the interests of the kids.”