Columbus East Senior Raises Nearly $2,500 with Year's Best Patch at "Night of a Thousand Jacks"

Event totals nearly $22,000 to support local victims of child abuse and neglect

A student from Columbus East High School has topped the competition and earned the designation of "Year's Best Patch" for her submission to Advocates for Children's annual Night of a Thousand Jacks event.

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Advocates for Children Receives National Certification Recognizing the Quality of Its Work for Abused and Neglected Children

Advocates for Children, a local agency serving Bartholomew, Decatur, and Jennings counties, has just been awarded certification by the National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association.  This certification recognizes that Advocates for Children is in compliance with National CASA’s high standards for quality child advocacy.

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CASA Case Highlight - Timothy, Aaron and Jean

In order to illustrate and bring awareness to the need for Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers in our local community, Advocates for Children will be regularly highlighting one case which is currently on our waiting list.  Identifying information has been altered in order to protect the privacy of the families involved in these cases.


Case_Highlight.pngWith all of our current Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers currently serving cases, and our waiting list of abused and neglected children in need of advocates at a record high, Advocates for Children is urgently seeking new volunteers.  These volunteers will serve as CASAs for children such as eleven year old "Timothy," eight year old "Aaron," and four year old "Jean."

The Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) received a report that these young children were living in an unsafe environment with their single father, who was abusing narcotics.  When the caseworker arrived, she found that there was no electricity or water in the families house.  A drug test of the children's father tested positive for marijuana, methamphetamine and hydrocodone.  The children were removed from their father's care and placed with their aunt.

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CASA Case Highlight - Jenny

In order to illustrate and bring awareness to the need for Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers in our local community, Advocates for Children will be regularly highlighting one case which is currently on our waiting list.  Identifying information has been altered in order to protect the privacy of the families involved in these cases.

Case_Highlight.pngWith all of our current Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers currently serving cases, and our waiting list of abused and neglected children in need of advocates at a record high, Advocates for Children is urgently seeking new volunteers to serve as CASAs for children such as "Jenny."

The Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) was contacted with a report that Jenny's family was not maintaining a safe environment for their child.  When they visited the home, they found that it was infested with cockroaches, flees and bedbugs, and that the family had allowed their pet cats to urinate throughout the house.  In addition, there was not suitable food in the home for Jenny to eat.  At present, Jenny has been placed with a family member until suitable housing has been provided.

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Waiting List of Local Abuse / Neglect Victims Tops 400

With the growing epidemic of Heroin and illicit narcotics leading to increasing instances of child abuse and neglect in Indiana, Advocates for Children is reporting a record number on their waiting list in need of volunteer assistance.

"Drowning in a sea of heroin"

"In more than 25 years of work in youth advocacy, I've never seen anything like this," said Advocates for Children's Executive Director, Therese Miller. "'It's like we're drowning in a sea of heroin, and these children are running out of life-boats."

Early last month, the Indiana Department of Child Services reported that it had served over 18,000 children in Indiana, an increase of 27 percent, and a record for the state.  This growth in child abuse and neglect cases, fueled primarily by increased drug use in parents, has placed tremendous pressure on agencies such as Advocates for Childrenthat are tasked with protecting the rights of the children involved.

"It can be daunting," Miller acknowledged.  "We need over 200 new volunteers to step forward in Bartholomew, Decatur, and Jennings County, just to serve the children who are waiting today."

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9 Child Advocates Take Oaths, Prepare to Serve Abused / Neglected Children

From left to right, Russell Warlick, Zhijun Zou, Ashley Harrison, Shujie Fang, Diane Jekel, Marcia Trapp, Kathy Trowbridge, Christie Smith, Jennifer Morlock.On Thursday evening, with their families proudly looking on, 9 newly trained Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers were sworn in by Bartholomew County Juvenile Magistrate Heather Mollo as officers of the court.  

In their new role, these volunteers will work directly with area victims of child abuse and neglect, guaranteeing that their needs are met, that their best interests are front and center, and that they return as quickly as possible to a safe, loving and permanent environment.

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CASA Board Member Receives Fundraising Award

Mike_Rossetti.jpgMike Rossetti, past President and current member of Advocates for Children's Board of Directors, was named the recipient of the James A. Henderson Award for Fundraising at the annual meeting of The Heritage Fund - the Community Foundation of Bartholomew County.

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Pam Meyer Named 2014 CASA Volunteer of the Year

Pam_Meyer_CVotY_Sized.jpgAdvocates for Children has named Pam Meyer of Greensburg, Indiana as the agency's 2014 Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Volunteer of the Year.

Meyer was sworn in as a CASA volunteer in 2002, and is the longest serving volunteer in Decatur County.  In her 12 years as a volunteer, Meyer has served on 23 separate cases and advocated for a total of 47 children.

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Giving Tuesday

GT_2014_Banner.jpgOn Tuesday, December 2, 2014, we will celebrate #GivingTuesday — a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. We already have Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. Now, with #GivingTuesday, we have a dedicated day of giving!  We hope you'll consider making a contribution toAdvocates for Children on this special occasion.

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