Southeastern Indiana Voices for Children, Inc. located in Madison, serving Jefferson and Ripley counties has been awarded a $20,000 Local Rural Grant from the National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association. Funds will be used to recruit, screen and train more CASA volunteers from among our community to serve children who have experienced abuse or neglect.
Southeastern Indiana Voices for Children, Inc. is one of almost 1,000 CASA and Guardian ad Litem (GAL) programs across the country that recruit, train and support 87,000 best-interest volunteers who help ensure that children who have entered the court and child welfare systems receive appropriate services, have a voice in determining their futures and, ultimately, find a safe, permanent home where they can thrive.
A child enters the foster care system every two minutes, and currently there are not enough CASA and GAL volunteers to serve every child. On average, for every child assigned a best- interest volunteer, two others go it alone. “The needs of Jefferson and Ripley counties’ children coming into care are more complicated than ever before, and these cases can be chaotic when dealing with the multiple issues in every case, often including drug use, physical abuse, sexual abuse, extreme neglect, and educational issues – just to name a few.”, said TONYA RUBLE-RICHTER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. “Every child deserves the support of a caring, consistent adult with the training to help her or him heal and thrive. This becomes a more difficult goal to attain when we see the increases we are seeing locally in cases. Jefferson county cases have more than doubled in two years, going from 83 cases in 2015 to 175 in 2017.”
The federal grant funds distributed through the National CASA Association are provided by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, US Department of Justice, as authorized under the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990. They are awarded through a competitive process. In 2017, National CASA awarded over $4.6 million in federal grants.
Voices for Children is holding its next volunteer training beginning on February 23, 2018. For more information about becoming a best-interests volunteer or other ways to get involved in changing a child’s life, contact Tonya Ruble-Richter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-274-0877.
SOUTHEASTERN INDIANA VOICES FOR CHILDREN, INC.
217 E. MAIN STREET, MADISON, IN 47250
OFFICE PHONE: 812-274- 0877