Wanda English Burnett
are looking for caring, compassionate people who have a heart
for children...people who want to make a difference. Rita
Seig of Southeastern Indiana Voices for Children, told the Osgood
Southeastern Indiana Voices for Children is a program of Pathways
Youth Shelter and Family Services that serves both Ripley and
Jefferson counties. Their goal is to make a difference in a
childs life through the Court Appointed Special Advocate
(CASA)/Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) volunteer programs.
Right now in Ripley County 40 children are on a waiting list
to have someone advocate for them as a CASA.
The CASA program isnt new in Ripley County, but is in
need of good people to volunteer.
Being a CASA volunteer has literally changed my way of
thinking, Seig noted. She has been a volunteer for over
a year and says the victories far outweigh the challenges. These
children need us now, she said.
Volunteers are given all the tools and training needed to do
the job. It only takes a few hours per month and at the
end of the day, you have been the voice for a child who might
not have been heard in that way, Seig noted. She said
the children are victims of abuse or neglect and simply need
an impartial person to get their feelings heard before the Judge.
Seig explained that after 30 hours of training, you are fully
prepared to do the job. She said volunteers have great supervision
and support. Youre not on your own, she noted.
It takes about four hours per month for volunteers to meet with
the children, make a few phone calls, and write a simple report.
Its very easy to do, she noted, adding, anyone
(who loves children) can do it.
To qualify to be a volunteer you have to be 21-years old, a
mature adult, have reliable transportation, and have a background
check. The most important qualification is that you love children
and want to help them.
Its perfect for a retired person, or couple, or a busy
mother of three as is Seig, who just wants to make a difference
in a childs life.
The children in these cases have done nothing wrong. They are
simply the victims of abuse, neglect or even abandonment.
Seig is passionate about the program and asks others to join
her. Let me use your voice, she pleaded. To find
out more about the program and to sign on to be a volunteer,
you can contact Seig at 812-209-9945. You can also contact Program
Coordinator Pamela Moon at 812-265-3777 ext. 300, or 812-599-1448.
You can go online at www.SEIvoices.com for additional information.