January 2019 FUAN Advocate of the Month – Amanda Rex-Johnson

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Congrats to Amanda Rex-Johnson FUAN ADVOCATE OF THE MONTH

Congratulations to Amanda Rex-Johnson – The January 2019 FUAN Advocate of the Month.

Amanda was chosen due to her continuous efforts to help educate the public as well as legislators on reforms needed within child protective services. Her talents and contributions have ranged from writing articles, making phone calls, attending meetings, and rallying the public to be more involved. Congratulations and Thank You to Amanda!

Congrats to Amanda Rex-Johnson FUAN ADVOCATE OF THE MONTH

As a child, Amanda grew up, in central Iowa, very poor, despite coming from a prosperous family. Though she grew up impoverished, she considers herself extremely lucky.

Image of Amanda Rex-Johnson January 2019 FUAN Advocate of the Month

Living out of a car, Amanda’s mom, reluctant to reach out to her family for assistance, walked into a church where she met Reverend Andy Bales. Unbeknownst to them, Reverend Bales had been praying on an idea to start Good Samaritans, a nonprofit aimed to help single mothers get on their feet. To him, this was the sign he needed to get started with his project.

Rev. Bales was named the 930th Point of Light by George Bush in 1992 for this project, and Amanda attended as a special guest, at 4 years of age. He now leads the Union Rescue Mission, combating the largest homeless population in the US.

Image of Amanda Rex-Johnson

Rev. Bales also set up Amanda’s family with a sponsor family, Doug and Bonnie Smalley. Doug was a lawyer, and Bonnie worked for then Gov. Terry Brandstad — giving Amanda her first taste of politics, the legal system, and a sense of security.

Photo of Amanda Rex-Johnson with her family

Amanda has not lost sight of the advantages afforded to her nor the struggles she went through. Those struggles, she has learned, are exacerbated by our child services division. Instead of helping those they come in contact with, Amanda has seen the havoc they can cause families all across the nation.

With the support and guidance of her family, especially her grandparents, she has been given more opportunities – the strength and ability to advocate for children in Iowa. Amanda started lobbying as a hobby last year, forming relationships with legislators. She then expanded on these relationships by campaigning and continuing the conversation centered around child advocacy.

Image of Amanda Rex-Johnson studying

Amanda is currently working on helping to pass bills, some of which she amended through evidence-based research, attending continuing education classes for court-appointed attorneys, meeting with DECAT Board members, speaking to hundreds of families, lawyers, and psychologists.

Amanda started a Facebook group, Support HF 2353 , where you can read up on those bills. You can also check out the Child Welfare Study from FUAN here .

If you would like to nominate somebody you think worthy of recognition as a FUAN Advocate of the Month, just tap the button to submit their name and why you feel they should be considered.

Now, more than ever is the time to get organized and stand up to be heard!

Family United the Action Network (FUAN) is based in Des Moines, Iowa. Our goal is to be a catalyst for changing legislation here in Iowa and the United States.

We want the world to become more aware of family law issues to help preserve and protect children and families wherever they live.

We've been working hard to create a useful structure for our nonprofit organization to help our FUAN Family Participants, many of whom have been adversely affected by outdated family laws, recruit individual and business sponsoring members. FUANs vision is to become a trusted resource for people who lobby for legislative changes.