April is Child Abuse Prevention month, and this year the theme is Thriving Children and Families: Prevention with Purpose.
How many of us have had times in our lives where just surviving seems difficult and thriving seems like a far–off goal? We have too, which is why the team at Kids’ Voice, and our amazing volunteers do what we do for Indiana families.
Kids’ Voice is celebrating its 36th year in 2021, with big goals ahead. We have several programs we use to help advocate, educate and protect kids and families in Indiana. Our vision to prevent every child in Indiana from experiencing abuse and neglect. It is a big undertaking, but we are committed to making it a reality through our work.
Our Bette J. Dick Guardian ad Litem (GAL) program is appointed by Marion County judicial officers in custody, adoption and guardianship cases to serve the best interests of children in those cases. The result is we are able to give the children served a voice. A voice that is often lost when the adults are in the midst of crisis and conflict. As a GAL, we not only make recommendations on placement for children, we also have the opportunity to recommend resources. This is just one thing we can do to educate families about resources they may not have been aware of that helps them thrive. This program survives by using volunteers that meet with the children and families to report back to the court on a child’s situation.
Our other programs, the Derelle Watson-Duvall Children’s Law Center of Indiana, the Jenny Miller Safe Child Parenting Time Program, Parenting Coordination Clinic, and Community Mobile Law Program, help families stay connected and supported. Covid-19 has challenged Kids’ Voice as well the families we serve. We do more virtually than we have in the past, and we have already seen an increase in the need for our services post-quarantine. “We’re in need of volunteers and supporters now more than ever,” said Lindsay Scott, President and CEO of Kids’ Voice. “The pandemic has brought a host of issues to the surface for families,” Scott went on to say, “issues of family conflict, child abuse and neglect and domestic violence have been exasperated.” With children having learned virtually for much of the last year, school staff haven’t had the contact with students they usually do, thus decreasing reports of child abuse. In addition, our families have faced work closures, job loss, and many other hurdles over the past year that makes surviving seem difficult.
Our goal is to help our families not just survive but get to the point they can thrive. One way we plan to do so is by partnering with our new celebrity spokesperson, Mark Glowinski, from the Indianapolis Colts. “I am so thankful that [I was] connected to this amazing organization. I could not be more excited to support Kids’ Voice in their mission to protect children in Indiana,” said Glowinski. “I love being in Indiana and playing for the Colts. I look forward to working with Kids’ Voice to become better connected to the Indiana community. It is very important to give back and for me, I cannot think of a better way to do that than to support kids.” Mark will be headlining our yearly fundraising event, Monday Night Madness at the Colts Complex. When meeting with Mark, he is a humble, down to earth gentleman that cements that his words aren’t just words, it’s who he is, and we can’t wait for Covid restrictions to lift and be able to partner more with him.
You can help our families thrive too. Kids’ Voice can always use financial support, whether it’s directly donating to us, or sending us gift cards for gas or groceries for our children and their families. We have an amazon smile page at https://smile.amazon.com/hz/charitylist/ls/2Z19SR5T6A1QI where you can send us items from our wish list and choose us to be the charity that receives a donation on your eligible purchases. We have an event with Kendra Scott Jewelry on April 17th and 18th, where they will donate 20% of the proceeds from purchases to our organization – just in time for Mother’s Day and graduation gifts. Finally, we NEED volunteers to serve as the voice for a child in court. It is one of the most impactful ways to serve children during Child Abuse Prevention Month and beyond.
More information can be found on these and other ways to help Kids’ Voice, please visit https://www.kidsvoicein.org/get-involved/.