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​Jacksonville, FL (November 1, 2021) – Earlier this year, Council Member Danny Becton introduced Resolution 2021-723 to recognize November as Family Court Awareness Month.  After it’s six-week journey through the bill cycle process, the full City Council adopted the resolution at the October 12, 2021, meeting.  Launched in 2020 by Tina Swithin, in collaboration with Sandra Ross, the month recognizes the need for stronger advocacy for children involved in the process and the effort to educate all involved in the Family Court system on issues such as domestic violence, childhood trauma, and post separation abuse that can impact the children of parents going through the system.

The concept of Family Court Awareness Month was inspired by the 10-year custody battle of Tina Swithin and the years of distress and a process that dragged on that eventually ended with her gaining full custody of her children.  The mission of Family Court Awareness Month is to educate judges and other family court professionals working in the family court system on the proper training and to make them aware of how to deal with issues such as domestic violence, childhood trauma, and post separation abuse to maximize children’s safety.  The need for proper training is emphasized by the 806 children that have lost their lives since 2008 by separating or divorcing parents.

The resolution adopted by the City Council stated the following:

            “BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the City of Jacksonville:

The City of Jacksonville hereby recognizes November as Family Court Awareness Month. Jacksonville City Council encourages all parties involved in the family court system to take whatever precautions are necessary to ensure children are safe and protected during separation or divorce legal procedures.”

CM Becton, who championed the resolution, stated:

“Often, I have constituents bring great ideas or a request for honoring individuals or organizations that are doing great work in our community,” Council Member Becton acknowledged. “In this instance, constituent Annalyn Velasquez-Insco of Bartram Springs, reached out to me and educated me on the need to join the national movement in Jacksonville, and to make November Family Court Awareness Month was certainly important,“ Council Member Becton added. “It is my hope to have our city join this awareness campaign and shine a spotlight on one of the most important branches of our judicial system; the family court system and its impact on our children,” Council Member Becton concluded.

It is the hope of Council Member Becton that, through this resolution, the countless number of families affected by this process and those responsible for determining the future of children affected by family separation and divorce gain the insight and knowledge to advocate for all those affected by the Family Court process.

For More Information on Family Awareness Month, Visit:

By Joe Johnson, District 11 Executive Council Assistant and CM Danny Becton.