In Monroe County, probation officers want juveniles to know they care

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The Indy Channel RTV6 on 4/16/2020 by Tom Maccabe

So, special “care packs” are being sent.

Care packs ready to go in Bloomington

BLOOMINGTON — At the Monroe Circuit Court Probation Office, Juvenile Division, there is no “business as usual” these days.

Chief Probation Officer Linda Brady says virtual and telephone appointments have replaced face-to-face connections between probation officers and the juveniles they are assigned to.

Because of that, Brady says isolation and loneliness can set in. So, the probation office is doing something to show they care.

“Care packages” for youth, to let them know their probation officers care about their wellbeing are being delivered this week. Inside is a variety of items, including snacks, candy, playing cards, and brainteasers.

The care packages were purchased using funds from the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative grant.

“Typically, grant funds have been utilized to enhance programs, provide training, and support more traditional probation rehabilitative efforts,” said Monroe County Judge Stephen Galvin. “However, given the disruption so many face during this COVID 19 pandemic, the Juvenile Probation Officers felt that a small portion of these grant funds should be utilized to maintain connections with the youth and families they serve.”

Juvenile Probation Officer Debbie Wray said, “During periods of intense life difficulties, it is even more important for our clients to know they matter. As probation officers we can be that standard of measurement which shows how much they matter.”

Juvenile Probation Officer Nicholas Ackerman stated, “Now more than ever, it is imperative that juvenile probation officers, and all youth workers across the country, work to reinforce their relationships with their clients. This is an opportunity to show our kids, and our community, that we are more than just court orders and probation requirements. We are a support system, a helping hand, a steady voice in the midst of so much chaos and uncertainty”