April is National Prevent Child Abuse Month. Each year, CASA of Madison and Clark Counties places pinwheels in the lawn of the courthouse in Richmond.
The pinwheel is used to symbolize the happy childhood that each child should have. This year we will place 443 pinwheels in the lawn, each one representing an abused and neglected child in Madison County in 2020. Due to the pandemic, we are unable to have our normal event for Child Abuse Prevention month, yet this year we really want to highlight the impact that COVID-19 has had on children.
While the 2020 numbers are down, it does not mean that abuse and neglect happened less. There were simply less eyes on the children due to not being in school, daycare, after school programs, etc. Kentucky was just named number one in the nation, for the third year in a row, for child abuse and neglect. This is a major issue and we need people to stand up for these kids and be their voice. During the pandemic, CASA volunteers have continued to visit (in-person and/or virtually) with the kids they are appointed to. They often have been the only person checking in on these kids. 37.5% of the kids we serve have disrupted placements during the pandemic.
CASA volunteers are assigned to a child or sibling set and advocate for their best interests in Family Court. CASA volunteers talk to everyone involved in that child’s life and visits with the child at least monthly.
You can help by becoming a CASA volunteer! CASA volunteers on average spend 5-10 hours a month advocating for these kids and stay involved until the child achieves permanency, which is either return to parent, adoption, or permanent custody to a relative. CASA volunteers are often the only consistent person for these children as they go through the system. CASA volunteers must be at least 21 years old, not be foster parents, pass background checks and attend 30 hours of training. Our next training begins April 12 and this will be entirely virtual.
Donate to CASA of Madison and Clark Counties! All donations go to serving Madison and Clark County children! It costs $1,000 to provide an abused and neglected child with a CASA volunteer for an entire year.
It takes one caring adult to change a child’s story. Will you be that person?
For more information contact Victoria Benge at 859-624-4794 or email@example.com.
Credit to guest writer Victoria Benge