Q & A with Child Advocates Executive Director

Posted on January 12th, 2016

cindy-boothHow long have you been Child Advocates Executive Director?    I started as a part time attorney in 1994 and became Executive Director in 1996. About 20 years.

What can you tell me was the most significant for moment for Child Advocates in 2015?  The press conference in April was the first time we went to the community with the support of our Juvenile Judge, Marilyn Moores, and the Indianapolis media and pressed the community for help in recruiting volunteers.   We doubled our volunteer applicants and ended 2015 with a record number of new volunteers.  Another significant moment was our 40th Undoing Racism workshop.  The workshop is a powerful and comprehensive educational opportunity about race and racism in the institutions that affect our children and families.

Tell me about the increase of cases in 2015 and how that has affected Child Advocates.  Child Advocates started 2015 with 1,000 more children than in 2014.  Volunteer and staff numbers that we thought were adequate responses became more and more strained as the year went on, due to increased new CHINS cases (heroin and other substance abuse, domestic violence, more of everything).  We believe the heroin related cases will likely take longer to resolve so those cases increase caseload as well.   Children in all of our programs are experiencing more addicted parents, more trauma, and other issues that put, not only their wellbeing but their futures, at risk.  We have worked hard at adding more staff and recruiting more volunteers with a generous donation by Cindy Simon Skjodt.

What do you expect for Child Advocates in 2016?  We are working to double our volunteer number, have a very successful fundraiser at the Superhero Run and have Indianapolis recognize our work for children with increased media and a launch of our refreshed logo.

If you could send one message to the Indianapolis community, what would it be?  Volunteer at Child Advocates to help children who have been abused and neglected.  YOUR VOICE. THEIR FUTURE.