MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIFE OF A CHILD! Every child has the right to a safe, permanent home; a loving and supportive environment; and the opportunity to be a child. Each year in the United States, millions of children are abused, neglected or abandoned by their families. Eventually, many of these children end up in court with a judge deciding their future.Sometimes children become victims again, victims of an overburdened child welfare system. Sometimes a child can remain adrift in the system for months, even years.
HOW CASA MAKES A DIFFERENCE. This is where CASA comes in. CASA volunteers are Court Appointed Special Advocates, trained community volunteers appointed by a judge to speak up for children in court. When a CASA volunteer is assigned to a child’s case, he or she is responsible for taking time to find out as much as possible about that child. The CASA volunteer gathers case information by reviewing records, interviewing parents, talking to teachers, doctors, and counselors but most importantly, listening to the child.
The CASA volunteer performs these with only one purpose in mind, to advocate for the best interests of the child. A court report is presented to the judge at each hearing detailing the information gathered and includes recommendations on issues of safety, permanency, and support services. CASA volunteers then monitor the court’s orders until the case is retired.
BECOME INVOLVED. CASA volunteers come from all walks of life. They have a variety of professional, educational, and ethnic backgrounds. No special experience is required. Training is provided. CASA volunteers are selected on their objectivity, competence, and commitment. Once accepted into training, volunteers learn about the social service system, courtroom procedures, juvenile court systems, and the special needs of children who have been abused and neglected.
With the exception of court appearances, volunteers have considerable flexibility in scheduling interviews and other appointments. It takes about 10 to 15 hours per month to be a CASA volunteer. If you care about children, are 21 years of age, and have time to commit then you may qualify to be a CASA volunteer. There are mandatory trainings, background checks, and reference checks.
Training beings on October 5th! For more information, contact Karen or Samantha at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 540-484-5566.
The National Children's Alliance recently developed a new public service announcement about the courage it takes for kids to disclose abuse and courage it takes for adults to report it. This campaign is called “Help Victims Become Survivors.” Yesterday, with the help of Peter Connors and other PR experts, this PSA played during the Colbert Report on Comedy Central.
We are asking your help in ensuring that this message is spread far and wide through social media by taking a moment today to share the PSA through your Facebook page (both work and personal if you are willing to help us get the word out more broadly) and Twitter account(s).
If the whole CAC movement shares this on the same day (or at least over the next couple of days), it is much more likely to go viral and reach the general public who so clearly needs this hopeful message.
You may share this by using either of the two links below. The first one includes a directory search where folks can find their nearest CAC - www.helpvictimsbecomesurvivors.org
The second is simply the youtube video—which does not include the search feature.
Twenty-four states have also signed on to receive their own customized version of this.
NCA is currently working with teacher’s associations and education associations here in Washington to get them to circulate the PSA, as well. It poses teachers as the heroes they are and accurately portrays them as the number one reporters of abuse among mandatory reporter groups.
Thank you in advance for all your help with spreading the word about the courageous actions kids take every day to seek help and the ways in which adults can help.
What's Happening at the CAC: Happy new year! Time sure flies as we continue to offer needed services in our community. April is right around the corner and we are looking for volunteers to assist with our April's Child Abuse Prevention Activities. Last April proved to be a very busy month as all during the month we provided outreach and education to almost 6,000 individuals in our community. Training is required. Please call and speak with me if you are interested in helping out with some of our activities and projects.
Our on-going development of clinical services is a joy actually. Learning so much and working with so many good people. Thank you.
In February and March, we will begin recruiting for new CASA volunteers. If you or someone you know wishes to be a voice for a child in court. Please contact Karen or Samantha at email@example.com. Training begins in May. And to keep up with our activities check out our facebook - www.facebook.com/SVCAC4KIDS - you do NOT need a facebook account to view our information, so use this as an additional resource.
Each year thousands of victims of child abuse and neglect begin their journey to recovery through a children's advocacy center, a child-friendly place where even the smallest and most vulnerable of child victims can feel safe telling what has happened to them and where their healing can begin.
The Southern Virginia Child Advocacy Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation that facilitates a multidisciplinary approach to the investigation, prosecution, and treatment of child abuse and neglect cases by providing the following:
Videotaped interviews of child abuse victims in safe, child-friendly surroundings, avoiding multiple interviews, reducing the trauma of disclosure, and preserving statements for court purposes
Victim advocacy and emotional support for victims and non-offending family members as well as access to the victim's compensation system
Counseling treatment services, offered on-site or through referral, to help child victims begin the healing process
Forensic medical exams, offered on-site or through referral, utilizing specialized equipment necessary for accurate diagnoses
Interdisciplinary review of cases by teams of professionals, including law enforcement, child protective services, prosecution, medical mental health, victim assistance, and child advocacy
In addition to victim services we are also actively engaged in the development of prevention teams, comprised of experts from throughout the community, working together to stop the cycle of abuse and violence through outreach and educational programming.
The mission of the Southern Virginia Child Advocacy Center is to promote the well-being of abused and neglected children through Treatment, Advocacy, Prevention, and Education.
National Children's Alliance * National CASA Association * United Way of Franklin County * Children's Advocacy Centers of VA
COMPLAINTS OF DISCRIMINATION Write USDA Director Office of Civil Rights Washington, DC