April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and CASA of Northeast Louisiana is raising awareness about child abuse and neglect and the need for more citizens within our community to step forward and help make a difference.
When a child is placed in the foster care system due to abuse or neglect, they are often removed from their home and placed in state care – sometimes far away from their family, loved ones, and community. CASA volunteers, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, are everyday people from all walks of life who are recruited and specially trained to advocate for these children and provide a consistent, reliable adult presence for them during a difficult time in their life.
CASA volunteers are assigned to one child or sibling group to advocate for their best interest in court, in school, and in other settings. They get to know the child and everyone involved in their life, such as family members, foster parents, therapists, and teachers, in order to develop a realistic picture of the child’s unique situation. They make recommendations to the judge overseeing the child’s case, with the goal of ensuring that the child is safe and has the resources needed to heal.
According to the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, there were 51,639 reports of suspected abuse or neglect last year. Annually in Louisiana, roughly 6,000 children and youth have been removed from their homes and placed into the foster care system.
CASA of NELA invites you to get involved during Child Abuse Prevention Month in the following ways:
* Consider becoming a CASA Volunteer – Court Appointed Special Advocate.
Learn more here.
* Make a one-time gift of $30, $1 per day in recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month here.
* Connect and engage with us on Facebook and Instagram! We will be posting educational content relating to child abuse, and neglect, and how our community can come together to make a difference. You may also start your own Child Abuse Prevention Month fundraiser on Facebook.
* Tell 3 people you know about our organization! With over 4,700 children and youth in foster care throughout our state, we are in dire need of more child advocates. Direct friends, family members, and co-workers here to learn more about how they can make a difference.