April is 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 to 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 like who are recruited and specially trained to advocate for these children and provide consistent, reliable adult presence for them during this 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 other settings. They get to know the child, and everyone involved in their life, such a family members, foster parents, therapists, and teachers, 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 45,158 report of child abuse or neglect last year. Annually in Louisiana, there are over 6,000 children and youth who are removed from their homes and placed into the Foster Care System. In Northeast Louisiana alone, there are currently 343 children in foster care due to abuse or neglect.
CASA of NELA invites you to get involved during Child Abuse Prevention Month in the following ways:
- Consider becoming a CASA Volunteer – next training begins on March 31
- Join us for a Virtual Lunch & Learn Informational Meeting on Thursday, March 17, 11:45 am – 12:30 pm – Learn what a CASA does and how you can help children in need – sign up by emailing your name and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Connect and Engage with CASA of NELA on Facebook and Instagram. We will be posting educational content relating to child abuse, neglect and how our community can come together to make a difference.
- WEAR BLUE Day – Wednesday, April 13 – Wear blue to show support for all the children who have lost their lives to abuse. Take a selfie and tag #casaofnela
CASA of NELA serves 11 parishes in Northeast Louisiana and is a division of The Center for Children and Families.