An Ohio native-turned-Hoosier, Shannon Perry has been a business owner, a preschool teacher, principal, an education coordinator, and most recently a public school treasurer.
Shannon studied at the University of Cincinnati and instinctively focused on Child Development in Early Childhood Education. She and her husband Jeremy, who is an Operations Manager for a tri-state plumbing contractor, have three children. Two boys who are in the second and seventh grades as well as their oldest, a daughter, who is a freshman in college, studying social work.
This month Shannon accepted a brand new position with CACSEI. “This endeavor is unlike any other in Indiana,” says CACSEI Executive Director Stephanie Back. “No other CAC in Indiana has someone working in a similar role as far as we know.” CACSEI is looking to their latest employee to lead new growth in fundraising, outreach, communication, abuse prevention and awareness.
“I am honored to do this work. This position allows me to help the children and families in the community in which I live and have worked for so many years.” Shannon continues, “My focus is on being a support to the professionals here at CACSEI. I feel like I get to do some of God’s work here on earth. It’s my passion to make sure we’re able to serve our communities for a long time into the future, make us known and further help people understand what we’re here to do.”
CACSEI already offers a satellite location in Madison, and within the next year a new location in Greensburg will open. Current caseload growth is projected to reach nearly 1,000 children a year within the next five years. “That’s 1,000 children in and around our ten-county area that have experienced abuse, neglect, been a witness to a crime, or suffered some kind of maltreatment,” says Executive Director Back. “These cases have always been happening but people rarely talk about it. The more awareness education we can provide, then perhaps the more young people that will come forward.”
“I’m excited for the prevention coordination of this position,” says Shannon. “Creating awareness of what we do and the scope of abuse and neglect goes a long way to helping families and children come forward.” Children who have a trusted adult to go to are more likely to come forward and say when abuse is happening to them. Adults and children need to understand how to react. In Indiana, if you suspect a child is being abused you are required by law to report it to 911 in an emergency or the Indiana Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-800-5556.
“For years many families have trusted me with their most precious gifts, their children,” says Shannon recalling her work in early childhood education. “Now, I am honored with the opportunity to earn the trust of our communities to move forward in helping the children of our 10 counties,” she says.