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LETTER: With increased case load, CASA needs volunteers

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In 2010, 19,500 abused and neglected kids in Kentucky needed child protective services – that’s over 50 children every day for an entire year.
Would you recognize that child if you saw them riding a bike or playing on the playground or waiting at a bus stop? You probably couldn’t, since this crime cuts across all social, economic and ethnic boundaries.
Fortunately, our community has a strong local chapter of CASA. These Court Appointed Special Advocates are trained volunteers who work to protect the best interests of neglected and abused children. CASA advocates devote their full attention to just one case at a time, unlike social workers who are frequently overloaded with dozens of cases.
Currently, CASA of the River Region is maintaining an average of 50 cases in Shelby and Spencer counties. Family court judges across Kentucky and all over the nation appreciate and praise the work of CASA volunteers. But the pressures of budget cuts, unemployment and substance abuse have dramatically increased caseloads for the entire system.
CASA works all year long to inform and educate the public about solutions to this growing problem. If you would like to be part of the solution, consider becoming a CASA volunteer. You’ll receive training, guidance and support as you represent a child in court. If you can’t volunteer yourself, consider financial support. It’s especially important since Kentucky is one of just eight states that provides no government funding for CASA.
And when you go to work, visit church or are out shopping, take note of the children that you see, and remember that by tomorrow, one of them could easily be the victim of abuse or neglect.
For more information, call 647-2155 or email Beverly@casariverregion.org.
Beverly Hilger
CASA of the River Region Program Manager