“It is rewarding-and sad- to see and hear the gratitude for very small acts of kindness, from kids who have never felt they had anyone to depend on. I told one of my CASA kids recently how much I admire his ability to make the best of a bad situation after his father- his one parent abandoned him and left the state. He said that if the person who was supposed to love him and care for him treated him that way….. He’d better learn to take care of himself. That saddens me, but it also inspires me to help him achieve his goals. There would be some justice in that.”
CASA Volunteer Advocate since 2011
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month
I Am For The Child
We believe that every child has a right to a safe childhood free of violence. April, Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month, is an important time to start the conversation in our communities about how we can keep our children safe.
The first federal piece of legislation to protect children from abuse and neglect, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), was passed in 1974. In 1982, Congress took further steps toward identifying and preventing child abuse and recognized the first Child Abuse Prevention Week. Shortly after, the first National Child Abuse Prevention Month was designated in April. Since those early days, the focus on recognition and prevention has widened to include promoting healthy parenting and strong families through education and community support.
By rallying our neighbors, business, schools, friends and families, we can make a difference in the lives of children across the country. By promoting safety, awareness and dialogue, we can prevent abuse from happening in the first place and help keep our children safe.
Calling Residents to Action for Child Abuse Prevention Month
The needs of Collin County’s children coming into care are more complicated than ever before, and life in foster care can be chaotic. Every child deserves the support of a caring, consistent adult with the training to help them heal and thrive. Throughout the month of April, CASA of Collin County is calling on members of the community to help our program serve our most vulnerable children. Without intervention, the odds are stacked against children in foster care. A child with a CASA volunteer, however, will leave the foster care system two-and-a-half months 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 of Collin County is a member of the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (National CASA), a nationwide network of programs in nearly 1,000 communities. At the heart of the movement are nearly 77,000 highly trained volunteers who advocate for the best interests of more than 250,000 of America’s children who have been abused or neglected.
How One Casa Made A Difference
For Alyssa, found in a drug raid in an abandoned house when she was three, success is all of those things, thanks in part to her CASA. When she was found by law enforcement, she was dirty, scared and wasn’t able to communicate clearly except to say “no”. No one knew her name. No one in that house full of drugs and guns and strangers was watching out for her.
Her communication was so unclear that at first, her CPS worker thought she only understood Spanish. She was placed in a foster home with a foster parent who also happened to be a kindergarten teacher. From the first time her CASA Advocate visited them in their home, she could sense that there was a strong bond beginning to develop and that Alyssa was going to get the loving care and attention she so desperately needed.
IN HER ADVOCATE’S WORDS
“I was very worried about the possibility of Alyssa being returned to them. While reviewing the CPS file from the previous case, I discovered the name of the CASA volunteer that had been involved with the case more than 5 years before. There was only a name, no contact information, but through the wonders of Facebook we connected. She provided us with important details about the disturbing circumstances of the removals and volunteered to come at her own expense to testify should we need her at any point. We stayed in touch over the next few months. Meanwhile, I continued tracking down family, neighbors, landlords and anyone else who had contact with the parents, and I started watching the parents’ Facebook pages. On the day of trial, the CASA volunteer was scheduled to testify in the afternoon, so she began driving the 5 hours it would take to get here before the trial started. Two hours into her drive, it became clear we wouldn’t need her testimony, and we called to tell her she could turn around. New evidence had come to light that proved the parents hadn’t changed their lifestyle at all and their rights were terminated. But that shows the determination of Advocates – ready and willing to do whatever is needed for the best interest of the child!”
A BETTER FUTURE FOR ALYSSA
Alyssa was adopted by her foster mom, just a little more than a year from when she was found in a home surrounded with drugs, a loaded handgun and nobody living there knew her name. Today, she dresses like a princess, bakes cookies, enjoys doing crafts, reads books, and loves using her rapidly growing vocabulary. She talks and talks! All in all, it’s a story with a great outcome and demonstrates the positive effect CASA can have in the life of a child.
Host A Beneficiary Event
CASA relies on supportive community partners to help raise awareness and vital funds for the organization. Many local individuals and businesses support CASA by hosting beneficiary events. To schedule a beneficiary event for CASA, please call Madison Durr at 972-529-2272 X113.
Become a “Hero Of Hope” Today
We have a special group of supporters who are extremely invested in our mission by joining us as monthly donors. Their recurring contributions mean that our work continues, and more children can find a safe and loving place to call home.
We’d ask for your to consider becoming one of these exceptional individuals, who we fondly call CASA of Collin County Hero’s of Hope. One of the biggest things we depend on as a nonprofit is consistency so that our work can continue.
As a Hero of Hope, you will enjoy:
- Hassle-free monthly donations.
- Automatic donation payment from your credit card or checking account.
- The knowledge that your donation is put to work immediately.
- Annual statement provided for tax purposed.
- The ability to change or suspend your donation at any time.
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