A message from the CEO, Tina Cloer
2017 was a year that rushed by as we expanded services to meet the growing needs of communities across Indiana. Our staff served 43,056 children from 23,296 families. Over half of the families received services that prevent child abuse and neglect. Children’s Bureau works with numerous community partners to create awareness of child safety, build helpful support systems and identify community resources; all the steps necessary for better, stronger families.
The year wasn’t without challenges. Unfortunately, the number of children entering the child welfare system continued to grow due to the addiction epidemic gripping our state. We focused on helping those who unexpectedly found themselves caring for the children whose lives have been torn apart. When a parent has a critical illness, such as cancer, their children are encouraged to talk about their feelings and acts of kindness regularly occur. But there is deafening silence and often shame for children with an addicted parent. From the child’s perspective the effects of both situations are much the same. Their parent may be too sick to help them with their homework, they miss their games, they can’t work and they are gone away from the home. Children’s Bureau staff are trained to encourage these children to talk about their feelings and cope with their sadness in positive ways.
The adoption program started offering Attachment Focused Therapy to address the devastating effects of trauma on children. Most of the kids we serve through our adoption programs come to us through the child welfare system and have suffered unspeakable traumas. Attachment Focused Therapy helps these families thrive by building connection and trust in the family unit.
Ninety-two of the foster youth we served earned high school diplomas and twenty-four started college. A successful dorm drive provided all the items needed to outfit dorm rooms for those who were college bound. The older youth services team work closely with these young adults so that they learn to navigate barriers and take the steps that lead to better.
I am grateful to each staff person, donor, volunteer, board member and corporate partner for all that you do to help us preserve families and protect children. We absolutely could not do this work without your help and we are forever grateful for your support. This year, you helped many children and families begin to take the critically important steps to making their lives better. For each of these families, I offer you my heartfelt thanks. I encourage everyone to embrace and support the families devastated by addiction. Ask how they are doing or show them an unexpected act of kindness. All of us are needed to help the child and the family begin taking steps to better.
President & CEO