CASA’s April 5 ‘Hands Around The Courthouse’ Raises Awareness of Child Abuse and Neglect
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and CASA Kane County, as a leading nonprofit agency in promoting child welfare, is celebrating its 30th year of providing advocacy for children who suffer from abuse and neglect in our community.
CASA Kane County is hosting its 15th annual Hands Around the Courthouse event at noon Thursday, April 5, in the lobby of the historic courthouse located at 100 S. Third St. in Geneva.
Unfortunately, child abuse and neglect continues to exist at an alarming rate. You can learn more about what you can do as a community member through small acts that help protect children, strengthen our families, and foster the health and well-being of the next generation.
CASA Kane County works proactively to find ways to prevent abuse before it occurs and protect children who have been in an abusive situation.
Throughout the month of April, CASA is striving to raise the level of awareness of child abuse and neglect by collaborating with Prevent Child Abuse America along with other community agencies. CASA invites ALL community members to attend Hands Around the Courthouse and hear directly from the following significant speakers: Dan Duffy, president and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America; Chief Judge Susan Clancy Boles; Abuse & Neglect Judge Linda Abrahamson; and Gloria Kelley, executive director of CASA Kane County.
Attendees will learn from these key individuals who are able to share the ongoing initiatives of Judiciary, agencies and community volunteers to keep children safe.
After the brief program, participants will be asked to join hands for a moment of silence acknowledging local victims of child abuse and neglect. In addition, the most recent class of 12 newly trained CASA/GAL volunteers will be sworn in at the event. The ceremony is open to the public and lasts about 20 minutes. A light lunch will be provided to all attendees.
Throughout the month of April, CASA Kane County also draws awareness to this issue by displaying blue pinwheels on the courthouse lawn, representing every child the organization served in the previous year. Last year, 607 children were victims of abuse or neglect, were removed from their homes and entered the child welfare system. Fortunately, every single one of those children were appointed a CASA/GAL volunteer to advocate for their best interests, safety and permanency.
CASA/GAL volunteers make a significant impact in the life of an abused or neglected child. National CASA statistics found that children with a CASA volunteer:
- Are half as likely to re-enter the foster care system;
- Are more likely to receive education, medical and other needed services;
- Will experience fewer, traumatic placement moves;
- Will spend eight months less in the foster care system than those without a volunteer.
CASA Kane County is issuing a call to action for community residents to stand against child abuse and take action to support children who have been abused or neglected and those who still remain silent.
Everyone can do his or her part by visiting CASA’s website and reviewing the Mandated Reporting Toolkit, attending the Hands Around the Courthouse awareness event, learning about becoming a CASA/GAL volunteer, or most importantly, by calling 1-800-25-ABUSE to make a report, if abuse or neglect is suspected.
CASA Kane County is a nonprofit, volunteer organization that advocates for the best interests of more than 600 abused and neglected children annually within the Juvenile Court system. To learn more, visit the organization’s website at www.casakanecounty.org or call 630-232-4484.