“A strong, well-informed family unit is the surest defense against child abuse, and parents and caregivers who have support—from relatives, friends, neighbors and their communities—are more likely to provide safe and healthy homes for their children.” National Child Abuse Prevention Month 2012, Proclamation by the President of the United States of America, April 2, 2012
But what happens when that bond is broken?
A Court Appointed Special Advocate can “provide the glue” when a child has been removed from the family due to abuse or neglect. The CASA volunteer connects everyone involved in a child’s case: parents and relatives, social workers, foster parents, teachers and judges.
CASA programs around the country are highlighting Child Abuse Prevention Month with special events. CASA of Gratiot County created the Art of Healing Project, and children are sharing their experiences through painting. Essex County CASA, Vigo County CASA and Kansas CASA will participate in I am for the child™ Light of Hope vigils. CASA of Central Oregon will participate in a Light of Hope 10 K run, and CASA of San Luis Obispo County is holding a “CASA Walk for the Child.”
On April 15th, CASA Las Vegas will host its 13th annual Light of Hope ceremony. Special guests are Nevada Supreme Court Chief Justice Nancy Saitta and Clark County Commissioner Lawrence Weekly – both of whom were adopted. Key community members, volunteers and former foster youth will also speak. CASA Program Administrator Shelia Parks says the event usually draws 75 – 100 people, with excellent media coverage that spreads the word about CASA advocacy.
Preventing child abuse—and providing care for those who have been abused—is a promise we must keep. As the Presidential Proclamation concludes, “Every child deserves the opportunity to grow up with the promise and protection of a loving family. This month, we recommit to that vision, and to providing care, stability, and a brighter future for our sons and daughters.”
Become a part of that brighter future. Become a CASA volunteer.