ELKINS, W.Va. (WDTV) - In honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, West Virginia CASA Association is issuing a call to action for residents of West Virginia Counties to stand against child abuse and take action to support children who have been abused or neglected.
At any given time, there are over 5000 children in foster care in West Virginia. These children come into the child welfare system through no fault of their own. West Virginia is seeing droves of children coming into foster care due to the opioid epidemic alone!
“The needs of West Virginia’s children coming into care are more complicated than ever before, and life in foster care can be chaotic,” said Traci Busch, Executive Director of the WVCASA Association. “Every child deserves the support of caring, consistent adult with the training to help them heal and thrive.”
Throughout the month of April, CASA is calling on members of the community to help us serve more of West Virginia’s most vulnerable children by: Donating to your local program. Perhaps the simplest way to give back is to make a donation to local advocates that provide the voice of an abused or neglected child in your community. If you do not have a local program yet, you can donate to the WVCASA Association and earmark your donation to support the development of a program in your community.
Give your time. Become a CASA Volunteer, or a Friend of CASA. Programs are always looking for responsible, caring, and committed individuals to assist. Throughout the entire month of April we will be busy creating awareness; there will be some promoting, fundraising, and several activities taking place. Join us!
Without intervention, the odds are stacked against children in foster care. A child with a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer, however, will leave the foster care system two-and-a-half months earlier, on average, compared to a child without a CASA volunteer. Studies show children with a CASA volunteer receive more services that are critical to their well-being than children without an advocate, and those children are more likely to achieve educational success.
CASA volunteers are a constant for the child in a time of chaos,” said Busch. “A child may have multiple social workers, attorneys, therapists and foster placements throughout the life of the case but only one CASA volunteer, which can make all the difference for the child’s future.”
WVCASA Association is a member of the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (National CASA), a nationwide network of programs in nearly 1,000 communities. At the heart of the movement are nearly 77,000 highly trained volunteers who advocate for the best interests of more than 250,000 of America’s children who have been abused or neglected. In West Virginia, there are over 300 volunteer advocates fighting for the best interests of 2000 children but over 3000 more children need the care and support of a CASA volunteer.
For more information about CASA, to become a supporter or to volunteer, visit www.wvcasa.org or call (304-637-6767).