In honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, CASA of Gila County is asking the community to spread awareness and stand up against child abuse.
CASA of Gila County encourages our community to take action and support children who have been abused and/or neglected. We ask you to be alert and report suspected abuse, but we also need to advocate for the children who are already in the child welfare system. Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers make a difference in children’s lives, giving them a voice in court and advocating for their best interests.
We are making a plea to our communities to step up and prepare to be the voice for the most vulnerable among us.
If you suspect a child is in immediate danger, please call 9-1-1. To make a report of child abuse and/or neglect call 1-888-SOS-CHILD (1-888-767-2445.)
Children come into the child welfare system through no fault of their own. “The needs of Gila County’s children coming into care are more complicated than ever before, and life in foster care can be chaotic and frightening,” said Emily Nader, CASA Coordinator. “Every child deserves the support of caring, consistent adults to help them heal and thrive.”
Throughout the month of April, CASA of Gila County is calling on members of the community to help our program serve more of Gila County’s most vulnerable children. We are asking community members to volunteer as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).
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 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 Nader, “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.”
In Gila County, there are 22 volunteer advocates fighting for the best interests of 46 children. This means 133 children from our community still need the care and support of a CASA volunteer.
Volunteers come in all shapes and sizes. No specific background or training is needed to become a CASA volunteer. Anyone 21 years of age or older, who can pass a thorough background check and complete 30 hours of free virtual training, is encouraged to apply.
To learn more about becoming a CASA Volunteer, call us at 928-402-4427, email [email protected] or visit our website at www.CASAofGilaCounty.org.