Thursday, July 5, 2012


Montgomery County CASA Program


The CASA Program recruits, trains and supports volunteers who serve as advocates to children who are in the court system as victims of abuse and/or neglect. CASA volunteers are appointed by the court. The CASA’s major role is to recommend a course of action to the court that is in the child’s best interest. The ultimate goal is to make sure each child has a safe and permanent home. The Montgomery County CASA Program is certified through the Indiana Office of GAL/CASA and the National Court Appointed Special Advocates Association.


Each year in Montgomery County, a hundred or more children are taken out of their homes because of neglect or abuse, often due to their parents’ involvement with drugs. These children need someone whose sole purpose is to keep only their best interests in mind.

The CASA will make a direct impact on a child’s life and perhaps on lives for generations to come.


A volunteer needs only to be an adult, 21 years of age or older, who wants to help abused and neglected kids. The program provides training, support, and supervision. We welcome volunteers from all cultures, professions, ages, socio-economic backgrounds, ethnic and educational backgrounds. I


The Montgomery County CASA program does not discriminate against any individual because of age, race, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status or handicap in the provision of services or recruitment of volunteers.

For more information c
Jane Christophersen @ 362-0694 #13 / Sue Brassel @ 362-0694 #20

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Adverse Childhood Experiences

I was at a workshop the other day and the speaker mentioned Adverse Childhood Experiences. I googled it and found a very interesting study. It revealed information about the health, social, and economic risks that result from childhood trauma.

The study stated that 63% of the people who participated in the study had experinced at least one category of childhood trauma. Over 20% experienced 3 or more categories of trauma they call Adverse Childhood Experiences.

The more categories of trauma experienced in childhood, the greater the likelihood of experiencing:
  • alcoholism and alcohol abuse
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • depression
  • fetal death
  • poor health-related quality of life
  • illicit drug use
  • ischemic heart disease
  • liver disease
  • risk for intimate partner violence
  • multiple sexual partners
  • sexually transmitted diseases
  • smoking
  • obesity
  • suicide attempts
  • unintended pregnancies
Yet another reason to become a CASA and advocate for abused and neglected children to ensure that their needs do not go unheard. If you are interested in becoming a CASA contact Jane Christophersen at 362-0694 #13 / 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

When is it okay for your child to be HOME ALONE?

Home is the place where a child should feel 
protected and safe. But what about those times when a parent can’t be there? If there is no affordable after-school program or sitter available, when is it okay for your child to be home alone?
There is no right answer for every child. There is no magic age when a child suddenly becomes responsible and mature. But there are ways to evaluate your child’s capabilities in order to make a more informed decision.
Review these questions:
·         Is your child mature enough to be home alone?
o   Age in years and age in maturity are very different things. A child who does not know how to respond to a knock at the door, or one who forgets to lock the door, is not ready to be left alone.
·         Can your child handle fear, loneliness, and boredom?
o   These are some of the things kids face when they are home by themselves.
·         Is there a responsible adult nearby, a relative or a neighbor, who your child can call for assistance?
o   Even if you work nearby, there may be times when you will not be available. Who can your child turn to then?
·          Does your child know emergency procedures? Have you reviewed fire escape routes? Is there a first aid kit available, and does your child know how to use it?
o   Role-play with your child. Pretend there is an emergency and see your child’s response.
·         Does your child perform everyday tasks such as fixing a snack, dialing the phone, and writing messages?
o   These are necessary skills.
·         Does your child regularly solve small problems without assistance, knowing when it’s okay to ask for help?
o   If your child arrived home to find the front door open, or a window broken, what would be the results?
·         Are there siblings who will also be home? Does your child manage conflicts with/among siblings without adult help?
o   The best way to answer this is to watch your child with siblings. If your child doesn’t manage well when you’re home, most likely the situation will not improve when you’re away.
·         Is your child comfortable with the idea of staying alone?
o   Ask! If the answer is no, then it is definitely not a good idea. A child must feel confident about being alone and self-sufficient for the time you are way.
If you and your child are confident that the time is right, try leaving your child for short periods of time to test the results. Call it an “experiment.” First, make sure that these elements are in place:
·         There should be a basic agreement, a contract of sorts, between you and your child about what is expected when you are away, with clear rules as to what is off-limits.
·         Make a thorough check of your home for safety risks, access to kitchen appliances (especially gas), alcoholic beverages, and firearms. Remove these risks!
·         Make certain your child has every key necessary to get into the house, with a plan for what to do if the keys are lost.
·         All necessary information should be kept by every phone. Your home address, emergency numbers, your contact info, neighbor’s phone number.
·         And, if possible, leave a cell phone number or pager number to reach you immediately.
Afterwards discuss your experiment. Did each person feel comfortable? IF you still have concerns, contact a trusted professional or clergy person to help you address your concerns. Try the experiment again when everyone feels more comfortable and confident.
 This information was brought to you by Prevent Child Abuse Indiana