Change a Child's Story
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Each year, nearly 408,000 children in the United States experience abuse or neglect, ushering them into the dependency court and foster care systems. A child in foster care, on average, will move into multiple homes and attend multiple schools. All this chaos and inconsistency has long?term effects. As a result, some children may have been increasingly exposed to child abuse and neglect, parental intimate partner violence at home, and sexual violence.
Court Advocates for Children trains support, and promotes volunteer court-appointed special advocates (CASAs) so every child in Kittitas County who has experienced abuse or neglect can be safe, have a permanent home, and have the opportunity to thrive. Over the past 36 years, Court Advocates for Children has served over 2,000 abused and/or neglected children in Kittitas County.
Our volunteers are assigned to the most difficult and complex cases being adjudicated. These are cases of serious maltreatment, in which children are at great risk, and cases with extensive child welfare involvement over time. Children and youth who have spent time in the child welfare system are more likely to face incarceration, homelessness, and unemployment. They are less likely to graduate high school and more likely to be trafficked.
As a consistent, caring adult in the child’s life, Court Advocates for Children volunteers provide recommendations to help Kittitas County judges make the most informed decisions for the well?being of the child. These volunteers also help identify resources for the child and their families to help strengthen families and prevent crises before they occur.
- A 30-hour core training course and background investigation to qualify individuals as CASAs.
- Continuing education for staff and volunteers about educational, psychological, and cultural needs of children, chemical dependency, child development, parenting skills, mental health, domestic violence, report writing, and legal updates
- Sufficient staff, office space, and technology to provide ongoing support, consultation, and supervision for volunteers, especially when cases become particularly complicated.
- Reimbursement to volunteers for travel expenses to maintain regular contact with the children they represent and to attend the annual state CASA conference.
Our goal is to receive $5,000 in donations by May 5th. It takes just a few minutes to donate, and your gift will last a lifetime.
Jamie Samuelson, Training & Adv Coor
P.S. Abused and neglected children are often silenced by the adults in their lives. You can make their voices heard by contributing to Court Advocates for Children today.