Let’s Stomp Out Child Abuse:
April is Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month
Last year 47,348 children were in the Texas foster care system and over 66,000 children in Texas were confirmed as victims of abuse or neglect. 59% of these victims were under the age of 6 and all of these children need someone in their lives who will be their advocate.
As an individual, addressing the issue of child abuse and neglect can seem like an unattainable goal. A person can quickly become overwhelmed by the statistics because even in our local area over 200 children are currently in foster care and many more are victims that have not been legally removed from their parents. Each of the counties that our CASA program serves – Blanco, Burnet, Lampasas, Llano and San Saba – have growing numbers of confirmed victims and these numbers are compounded by stresses in society that have a profound effect on families. These stresses include the economy, the ease of accessibility to drugs in today’s world and the lack of attainable mental health care, to name just a few. Today’s problems seem so much more profound than the problems of yester-year. So, how can we possibly make a difference? Where do we begin?
I am a firm believer that if we are going to change the course of our society and address issues that affect people today, then we have to work together. We cannot rely on someone else to do the job or on our government to solve the world’s problems, but where do we begin? Everyone can make a lasting difference by becoming involved in a nonprofit organization in some way. Organizations like CASA need volunteers, donors and people who we can call upon to fill a variety of roles. Will you answer the challenge and become involved? Let’s ban together and stomp out child abuse and neglect once and for all, because the future of Texas relies on the healthy growth and development of our children.
This April, as we mark National Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month, we call upon all citizens, community agencies, faith groups, schools, government agencies and businesses to increase their participation in efforts to support families and prevent child abuse, thereby strengthening our entire community. Contact our office to learn more about our volunteer opportunities and DONATE now by going to www.highlandlakescasa.com or sending in your donation to CASA at 1719 Ridgeview Dr., Kingsland, TX 78639.
Kristen Harris, MSSW Executive Director at CASA for the Highland Lakes Area