Family & Youth E-Newsletter, Lake Charles, LA       April  2010

 

April is Child Abuse Awareness Month, Cont'd

 

learned, as well as the needs and wishes of the child, along with fact based recommendations as to what they believe is the childs best interest, to the Family & Juvenile Court Judge.  Finally, CASAs serve as a safety net, ensuring these children do not slip through the cracks of an overburdened child welfare system.  While other parties in the system Judges, attorneys, child welfare workers, etc., -  are all dealing with multiple cases at the same time, CASA volunteers are assigned to one only one case, allowing them to devote their full time and attention to their CASA children, their needs, and their best interests. 

 

Becoming a CASA volunteer requires no special background, simply a love for children and a desire to help.  Potential volunteers must also be able to successfully pass a thorough criminal background check.  Volunteers receive 40 hours of initial training, and are required to receive an additional 12 hours annually to maintain their certification.  After completion of their training, volunteers are sworn in by a Family & Juvenile Court Judge, and can then accept their first case.  While its said that someone who can devote a day a month can be a successful CASA volunteer, the statistics show that most volunteers do spend more time working on behalf of their children.  Being a CASA does require a commitment, because being a CASA has meaning and value, and it would not be so if there was not a right way to do it. 

 

While not everyone can be a CASA volunteer, there are other ways to help.  Scheduling someone from the CASA program to talk to a civic group, church group or other organization to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect in our community is a start, and a great way for potential volunteers to learn about the program.  Presentations are also available, for adults and children, on how to keep children safe by recognizing and taking steps to prevent child abuse.  Participating in our annual Dinner at Mi CASA fundraisers (our next dinner is April 25) is a great way to learn more, to enjoy a pleasant evening and a great meal, and ensure that CASA continues to be able to provide services to abused and neglected children. Attending our annual Child Advocate Night celebration (November 23, 2010), where we honor those who go above and beyond in their service to abused and neglected children, is a great way to send a message to these dedicated individuals and the children they serve that the community cares. 

 

While many have sought to quantify the cost of child abuse to our society, and it is substantial, statistics ignore the fact that every abused child has a face, a name, hopes, dreams, and desires, and all of this changes, through no fault of their own, when they are abused and neglected by those they love. 

 

Special thank you to the Louisiana Children's Justice Act for support CASA.

 

To learn more, to volunteer, or for more information on any of these events, please call the CASA office at 337-436-9533, email david@fyca.org, or visit our website at www.fyca.org.      

 

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Family & Youth web page is designed for educational and informational use only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for personal medical and/or mental health attention or treatment. You may contact us at 337-436-9533 for further information.

Family & Youth, 220 Louie Street, Lake Charles, LA 70611, 337-436-9533, www.fyca.org

Copyright Family & Youth Counseling Agency, Inc. 2010