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April Is Child Abuse Prevention Month
By West Kentucky Star Staff
MURRAY - National Child Abuse Prevention Month recognizes the importance of communities to work together to help children and families thrive. It’s a time to work together to implement effective strategies that support families and prevent child abuse and neglect. Throughout the month of April we are challenging community members to help our program serve even more children in Marshall and Calloway Counties. We are collecting donations for our Fill the Calendar campaign. As well as providing local businesses with Pinwheels for Prevention displays to raise awareness of Child Abuse Prevention Month. 

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, families have been under more financial and emotional stress, which historically, can fuel a rise in cases of child abuse and neglect. At the same time, children are not in the public eye at schools or daycare, the doctor’s office or other locations where caring individuals may be able to spot signs of abuse and neglect. Throughout the pandemic, our CASA by the Lakes volunteers have remained committed to providing best-interest advocacy for children who have experienced abuse or neglect. They have adapted to a new normal of Zoom and Facetime calls, socially distant visits and virtual court hearings.

“The number of children in Marshall and Calloway Counties coming into care continues to grow and we aim to meet that need,” said Angelia Boyd, Executive Director. “Every child deserves the support of caring, consistent, trained adults to help them find a safe, loving home, where they can heal and thrive.”

Currently, there are over 9,100 children in foster care throughout the state of Kentucky who have experienced abuse or neglect, ushering them into the dependency court and foster care systems. A child in foster care may have faced physical, psychological and/or emotional trauma only to endure long periods of uncertainty in the system as they wait to go home, be adopted or simply wait to see what happens next. On average, a child in foster care will move into multiple homes and attend multiple schools. All this chaos and inconsistency has long-term effects. But having a caring, consistent adult-someone who listens, checks in and puts the child’s best interests before all others’-can make all the difference.

Our CASA volunteers are trained, quality community volunteers who advocate on behalf of ​dependent, abused and neglected children in Marshall and Calloway Counties. Once assigned to a case by the Judge, our volunteers get to know the children on a personal level, advocate for their safe and timely placement, as well as provide a voice for these children in the courtroom. 

CASA by the Lakes is a member of the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (National CASA), a nationwide network of programs in nearly 1,000 communities. In recent years, our local program has seen a growth rate in total cases of 38.7%, 37.5% increase in children served and a 25.7% increase in new volunteers. But we still need your help! As cases continue to increase, so does our need for volunteers. 

If you are interested in making a donation or becoming a volunteer at CASA by the Lakes, visit our website at www.casabythelakes.org or call 270-761-0164.

Published 08:51 PM, Sunday Apr. 04, 2021
Updated 08:54 PM, Sunday Apr. 04, 2021

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