April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and CASA of Northeast Louisiana is raising awareness about child abuse and neglect and the need for more citizens within the community to step forward and help make a difference.

When a child is placed in the foster care system, because of abuse or neglect, they are often removed from their home and placed in state care — sometimes far away from their family, loved ones and community. CASA volunteers, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, are everyday people from all walks of life who are recruited and specially trained to advocate for these children and provide a consistent, reliable adult presence for them during a difficult time in their life.

CASA volunteers are assigned to one child or sibling group to advocate for their best interest in court, in school and other settings. They get to know the child, and everyone involved in their life, such as family members, foster parents, therapists, and teachers, to develop a realistic picture of the child’s unique situation. They make recommendations to the judge overseeing the child’s case with goal of ensuring that they child is safe and has the resources needed to heal.

Annually in Louisiana, there are roughly 7,000 children and youth who have been removed from their homes and placed into the foster care system.

CASA of NELA invites you to get involved during Child Abuse Prevention Month in the following ways:

CASA volunteer training begins May 20. Those interested are invited to a Virtual Lunch and Learn Informational Meeting on Wednesday, April 21.

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