Pat Hines is from a family of helpers, a family that serves the community and strives to make things better. Maybe it’s the innovative nature that comes from each of them having a scientific or medical background.
Pat herself has a degree in Veterinary Science and she enjoyed a successful career in health economics and epidemiology, working on groundbreaking HIV, Hepatitis C, and oncology drugs.
As she and her husband of 40 years left their East Coast roots and began traveling out west in search of a place to retire – she knew she would carry on her family’s legacy of helping in her new community.
“It’s always been a given with my family that when you have opportunities to relieve pain or to make things better – you do it. That comes first. That’s a priority,” she said.
Pat first heard about CASA from her son, a police officer in North Carolina. So when she and her husband settled down in Woodland Park, she looked up CASA of the Pikes Peak Region and decided to get involved with the Supervised Exchange and Parenting Time (SEPT) program.
As a SEPT facilitator in both El Paso and Teller counties, Pat supervises visits between children and non-custodial parents, and takes notes on the visits for the judge. Her time allows children opportunities to build positive relationships with their parents.
“It’s been interesting learning about the dynamics of children and the fallout from domestic violence and substance abuse,” she said. “But even with that whole spectrum of issues, children actually do better maintaining contact with the other parent. Just maintaining that contact keeps the doors open in case things do get better… Kids are amazingly resilient and amazingly fragile at the same time.”
Pat admits she wasn’t quite sure what to expect at first, so she focuses on making sure the children feel safe and secure. After that, she tries to help the children have fun.
The SEPT facilitator role works well for Pat as it still affords her plenty of time to travel, enjoy her reading group, and learn all about the unique challenges of landscaping in Colorado.
If you think being a SEPT facilitator might be a good match for you, give us a call! We are looking for more volunteers! Call 719-447-9898 and ask for Uriko.