She stressed to the audience, “If you see it, it’s your job and responsibility to report it.” Persons who suspect child abuse or neglect should call toll-free 800-800-5556 24/7 or 911 in an emergency.
“We are here because we believe children are valuable,” said Mike Singleton, an ordained minister, Indiana Child Fatality Team member and administrative general manager of the Community Partners for Child Safety Program offered by Ireland Home Based Services.
“We are excited to let you know many families ask for our services,” which range from discipline issues, parenting education and structure and routine to employment and housing assistance, child development and counseling. The nonprofit agency has been open in Versailles for about a year.
Families and professionals can request the free, voluntary (not court-ordered) services.
Singleton observed, “I would suggest to you parenting is a hard job. Hopefully, we can teach and promote the idea of prevention.” The program is “the community partnering together for the sake of the children.”
“Parents have worries and questions and lots of stress.” He said Ireland Home Based Services offers “short-term programs to help people over that hump.” One example he gave was of an “extremely overwhelmed” pregnant woman with four children who lived separately from her husband in the same cluttered house. She was gratified when six workers showed up to clean the home. “It’s not about handing people something. It’s helping them with something.”
He wondered, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could help reduce the number of children who have to live in a ... traumatic situation?”
The benediction was given by the Rev. Roger Dean of Church on the Rock Assembly of God, Batesville. He asked God to give attendees the knowledge to handle dangerous situations and recognize families in trouble, and to give officials the wisdom to know what to do for children who have been harmed.
Above all, “Lord, change people’s hearts.”
Debbie Blank can be contacted at email@example.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 113.