Editor’s note:  This month, the Indiana Trust Nonprofit Spotlight award goes to two organizations that are making a difference in the communities we serve – Child and Parent Services in Elkhart, Indiana, and A Better Way in Muncie, Indiana!

Nurturing Futures: Child and Parent Services (CAPS)

For more than forty years, the staff and volunteers at Child and Parent Services (CAPS) have worked tirelessly to prevent child abuse and neglect by offering a wide range of vital programs and services.  With a steadfast commitment and a diverse range of programs, CAPS s changing lives and building a safer, more nurturing community for families in Elkhart County. 

CAPs believes that most parents want to do the best job they can in raising their children and offers tools and resources for building parenting skills and managing some of the challenges facing families today.[1]

At the heart of CAPS' efforts are their child abuse prevention programs. Through educational initiatives, community outreach, and partnerships with local organizations, CAPS equips parents and caregivers with the tools they need to provide safe and loving homes. Workshops, seminars, and support groups offer valuable insights into parenting, stress management, and child development, empowering families to break the cycle of abuse.

CAPS' vision extends beyond prevention, recognizing that children and families need comprehensive support. Their Community Education program exemplifies this commitment, providing insights and parenting skills such as:

  • Positive parenting tips for raising children ages 0-17
  • How to lower stress levels and improve children’s behavior
  • Communicating with respect and understanding
  • Co-parenting for separating or divorced parents
  • How to spot signs of child abuse and neglect
  • Safety rules to teach children [2]

Another vital facet of CAPS is their Family Support Services, which offers a lifeline to parents facing overwhelming challenges. By connecting families with resources, offering in-home support, and facilitating access to mental health services, CAPS aims to strengthen the family unit, reducing the risk of child abuse and neglect. CAPS’ Family Resource Center is available free of cost to any parent or caregiver who resides within Elkhart County.  CAPS’ Family Resource Navigators can help determine if another CAPS program is a good fit and assist in the enrollment process – areas of expertise and assistance include:

  • Health or behavior concerns for the children
  • Signing up for government services such as food stamps or medical assistance
  • Housing and utility assistance
  • Financial management and budgeting
  • Mental health concerns
  • Relationship concerns
  • Education or career concerns and advancement training

CAPS’ Child and Family Advocacy Center (CFAC) provides services for the Elkhart County multidisciplinary team that investigates child victim crimes, by interviewing children that may have been victims or witnesses.  With CFAC, the child tells their story once to a trained interviewer who knows the right questions to ask in a way that does not retraumatize the child.  Without CFAC, children may end up having to tell the worst story of their life over and over again to doctors, police officers, lawyers, investigators, judges, and others.[3]

CAPS also engages in public awareness campaigns and advocacy efforts, raising community consciousness about child abuse and neglect. Their collaborations with local organizations, government agencies, and businesses demonstrate their dedication to forging a united front against these issues.

In pursuit of their vision, CAPS envisions communities where children thrive and families flourish. They recognize that prevention requires addressing root causes of abuse, such as poverty, substance abuse, and mental health issues. Through their wide array of programs and partnerships, CAPS seeks to dismantle these barriers one family at a time.

As we reflect on the vital work being done by Child and Parent Services in Elkhart County, we also recognize the tremendous value of their mission. Preventing child abuse and neglect is not just about safeguarding individual children; it is about building a stronger, more resilient community for us all.  Congratulations to Child and Parent Services in Elkhart, along with its President & CEO, Rebecca Shetler Fast, as it shares the Indiana Trust Nonprofit Spotlight for October 2023 with A Better Way in Muncie!  

Pictured, left to right:  Troy Smith, Senior Director of Advancement at CAPS; Rebecca Shetler Fast, President and CEO at CAPS; and Tina M. Patton, CSOP™, CISM®, Vice President, Director of Nonprofit & Foundation Engagement at Indiana Trust Wealth Management.

Learn More About CAPS

[1] https://capselkhart.org/about/
[3] https://capselkhart.org/cfac-program/

A Better Way: Transforming Lives and Building Hope Through Violence Prevention and Crisis Intervention

With an unwavering focus on violence prevention and crisis intervention, and commitment to inclusivity, non-discrimination, and professionalism, A Better Way (ABW) stands as a beacon of hope, ensuring that critical help is just a call away – any time, day or night, 24/7/365.

A Better Way's journey began in 1977 when Marilyn Ginay, Joanne Lindblad, and Terri Tverdik (Pankey) recognized the magnitude of the domestic violence issue while working on the Welfare Department's information and referral telephone line. Their dedication led to a pivotal community meeting and the birth of a support group in 1978, starting with a humble one-room shelter and the help of devoted volunteers. 

Today, A Better Way's services are open to everyone, offering the same range of services to women, men and gender non-conforming persons,  including shelter. A unique aspect of ABW’s services is that individuals do not have to reside in the shelter to receive support.  Nearly all services are available to both residential and non-residential service recipients.  In addition, dependent children and youth of all ages are welcome to accompany their parents to the shelter.   

Crisis Shelter, Counseling, and Support Services

A Better Way provides safe shelter 24/7 to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and their children, in Blackford, Delaware, Fayette, Henry, Jay, Randolph, Union, and Wayne counties. This program offers a temporary haven, during which clients set and work toward goals leading to more peaceful lives.  Family pets are even taken into consideration, as ABW offers a safe space for pets while victims are in shelter.

The ABW transitional housing project offers survivors of domestic violence and their children safe, adequate housing for a period to find security, stability, and peace in their lives – coupled with support and programs aimed at self-sufficiency and success.

On-site crisis counseling and support groups are available for both sexual assault and domestic violence survivors, while professional counselors provide trauma-informed care, emotional and behavioral services, and referral to higher levels of integrated care as needed.  Essential transportation is also made available to residential clients as needed to achieve goals related to counseling, court/legal matters, financial issues, housing, medical needs, work, and school. 

Crisis Support Center and Hotlines

A Better Way's commitment to serving survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence is unwavering, functioning as both a 24/7 rape crisis center and a domestic violence shelter, offering immediate support to those in need.  A Better Way is an active member of the Delaware County Sexual Assault Response Team.   A Better Way operates crisis support hotlines that offer support and assistance to individuals facing domestic violence, sexual assault, thoughts of suicide, depression, loneliness, addiction, or those who simply need someone to talk to.  In addition to comprehensive support, A Better Way makes referrals to help clients address these issues, recognizing the importance of holistic care as part of the process.  A Better Way is one of four centers in Indiana providing 988 lifeline service, in partnership with the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline and the Division of Mental Health and Addiction.

Legal Advocacy and Educational Resources

Legal advocacy is another crucial service provided by A Better Way. They assist victims with protective orders and respond as advocates for adult victims of sexual assault or domestic violence who go to the hospital seeking care.  Advocacy services can include assistance with legal rights education, preparation for testimony, accompaniment to court, and guidance throughout the legal process.  ABW also offers various forms of educational resources for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Community Resources

With highly qualified and well-trained professionals dedicated to making a difference in the lives of those they serve, A Better Way hosts cohorts from various colleges and universities in the region, contributing to the future of professionals in the field.  ABW also provides Community Awareness Presentations on various topics related to domestic violence, sexual assault, suicide, bullying, healthy relationships, and more to groups and organizations upon request.  In addition, they offer Telecare calls to older, disabled, or homebound adults, to help gauge well-being and provide peace of mind.

A Better Way serves as an example of the transformative power of compassion and dedication in action. As they continue to make strides in violence prevention and crisis intervention, "A Better Way" reminds us that positive change is possible.  Congratulations to Teresa Clemmons, Executive Director of A Better Way, one of two Indiana Trust Nonprofit Spotlight award recipients for October 2023, along with Child and Parent Services in Elkhart County!

Pictured, left to right:  Martin D. Hillery, JD, Vice President, Wealth Advisor, Indiana Trust Wealth Management; Teresa Clemmons, Executive Director, A Better Way; and Jennifer Williams, CTFA™, Administrative Associate & Office Manager, Indiana Trust Wealth Management.

Learn More About A Better Way

https://abetterwaymuncie.org/ and https://www.thestarpress.com/story/opinion/contributors/2019/10/29/teresa-clemmons-do-you-know-better-way/2495168001/


About the Indiana Trust Nonprofit Spotlight Program

Indiana Trust Wealth Management launched the Indiana Trust Nonprofit Spotlight program initiative in January 2021, which consists of recognizing, rewarding, and promoting a nonprofit organization in one or more of the company’s footprint areas on a monthly basis, as a way to highlight various nonprofit organizations throughout the year and bring attention to the good work being done in the communities they serve. Under the Nonprofit Spotlight initiative, the nonprofit organization will receive a $1,000 corporate donation and be eligible for employee gift-matching throughout the year. David R. Kibbe, JD, President & CEO, states, “As a majority employee-owned company, matching our employees’ contributions is an opportunity for Indiana Trust to support those nonprofits whose missions connect with our employees."

About Indiana Trust Wealth Management

Chartered in 1988 as the first independent trust company in the state of Indiana, and now with more than $2 billion in assets under management, Indiana Trust is deeply committed to the communities they serve.  Advising clients and their families nationwide, Indiana Trust is dedicated to increasing financial security by providing superior, ethical, and unbiased wealth management and advisory solutions – delivering legacies built on trust.

Indiana Trust offers comprehensive wealth management strategies for individual and family wealth, business retirement plans, charitable organizations, foundations, and endowments – delivered with the fiduciary standard of care, a multigenerational commitment, and excellence in stewardship. The company is majority employee-owned with offices in Mishawaka, Elkhart, and Muncie.

Find out more at www.IndTrust.com.


IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES: All info contained herein is solely for general informational purposes. It does not take into account all the circumstances of each investor and is not to be construed as legal, accounting, investment, or other professional advice. The author(s) and publisher, accordingly, assume no liability whatsoever in connection with the use of this material or action taken in reliance thereon. All reasonable efforts have been made to ensure this material is correct at the time of publication.  Copyright Indiana Trust Wealth Management 2023.