This may be hard to believe, but we don’t actually know how many children in this country die every year from maltreatment by a parent or caretaker. The federal government’s key publication of statistics on the maltreatment of children acknowledges that “The effects of child abuse and neglect are serious, and a child fatality is the most tragic consequence.” Yet each year, we only get an estimate of the number of fatalities.
“This is my team. The team that saved my life.”
Those were the words of a young woman I met 12 years ago who had spent several years in foster care. She was talking about a remarkable group of people: her lawyer, her CASA volunteer and her social worker.
At CASA for Children, we know that every day, social workers help keep abused and neglected children safe. We share a commitment to ensuring that these children are treated with dignity and respect, and that they and their families receive the help they need so the children can have a safe, permanent home. It’s an important job and a difficult one. A child’s safety and well-being are always at stake.
In this guest blog post, Matthew Perkins describes the events in his life that led him to become a CASA volunteer.
I like to tell people that I became a CASA volunteer because the Richland County CASA Program’s executive director—who also happens to be my neighbor—wouldn’t take no for an answer. It felt like every day she was asking me when I was going to train to be a CASA volunteer. I say that I became a volunteer to get her off my back. But that’s not the real reason.
In this guest blog, Niki Treadway shares her story of the first person who gave her the confidence to believe in herself: her former CASA volunteer Maura Wilson, who now serves as executive director of Tulsa CASA, Inc.
One day, my mom was cooking meth in the motel room where we were staying. I hadn’t seen my dad in years, but I was scared, so I called him.
“Please, Dad. Will you come get me?”
He said he couldn’t. He’d come some other day. He never did.
In 1989 the Kappa Alpha Theta fraternity elected National CASA its national philanthropy. For more than 20 years, Theta chapters have been raising funds for and awareness of their local CASA programs and the National CASA Association.
In this guest blog, Theta alumna and former CASA program staff member Liza Ortego Bush describes how her experiences with KAT and CASA programs have shaped her life.