During National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April, Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)/Prince George’s County challenges residents of Prince George’s County to stand against child abuse and take action to support children who have been abused or neglected.
At any given time, there are 500 children in foster care in Prince George’s County. These children come into the child welfare system through no fault of their own. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, children and families have been isolated and under more financial and emotional stress, which historically, can fuel a rise in cases of child abuse and neglect. During the pandemic, the reports of child abuse and neglect have been declining in many states, yet some states are projecting an increase in child abuse and neglect when our communities return to some semblance of normal.
We do not know exactly how the world will look for children and families in the months ahead. What we do know is that communities have a continuing mandate to support children and families and work to prevent abuse and neglect. During National Child Abuse Prevention Month, Court Appointed Special Advocate reminds everyone to keep eyes on children and support families during these challenging times.
“The number of children coming into care continues to grow and we aim to meet that need,” said Ann Marie Binsner, Executive Director. “Every child deserves the support of a caring, consistent, trained adult to help them find a safe, loving home where they can heal and thrive.”
Throughout the month of April, Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)/Prince George’s County is calling on members of the community to help our program serve more of Prince George’s County’s most vulnerable children. CASA is currently recruiting for our summer training class and invites community members to take their first step towards changing a child’s story by joining that training.
Without intervention, the odds are stacked against children in foster care. A child with a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer, however, spends 20 percent less time in foster care, 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 and are four times more likely to find a permanent home.
CASA volunteers are a constant for the child in a time of chaos. 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.