Beginning of school year often reveals child abuse, neglect

2016 09 06 sad student Website Beginning of school year often reveals child abuse neglectLANCASTER, PA (Sep 6, 2016) – The end of summer and the start of a new school year is an exciting time for most children. But for some, the beginning of school could reveal a dark secret when signs of abuse and neglect these children have suffered over the summer are noticed by teachers, staff and other parents.

“Because children lose the safety net of school over the summer, it’s not uncommon for reports of suspected abuse and neglect to jump up at the start of the school year,” said Jessica Laspino, Executive Director at Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Lancaster County.

Many of the children who are confirmed as victims are removed from their homes and placed into foster care—often far from their friends, families and schools. CASA of Lancaster County volunteers are specially screened and trained to speak up for abused and neglected children who, through no fault of their own, end up in the foster care system.

“Being uprooted from their homes and families is scary for these children. We at CASA of Lancaster County want to make sure that they do not get lost in the overburdened foster care system,” Laspino said. “For that reason, we need more people in our community to speak up and make sure these children’s voices are heard. We want to help ensure that their stay in foster care is as short as possible and that they are placed in safe, loving homes quickly so they can begin to heal.”

There are over 550 children in the child protection system in Lancaster County, and only 125 CASA volunteers to advocate for their best interests.

This school year, become a CASA volunteer and help children in need find safe, permanent homes. Join us at one of our upcoming Community Awareness Sessions on Engagement (C.A.S.E.) for CASA.

Come see audiovisual testimony from youth who have had an active child advocate in their lives during their time in foster care. As children, these young adults were positively affected by CASA. They will share the long-term impact of having a qualified, compassionate adult fight for and protect their rights. CASAs advocate for a child to be safe, to be treated with dignity and respect, and to learn and grow in the security of a loving family.

C.A.S.E. for CASA is free of charge and open to the public. RSVP is required due to limited seating. We know how important your time is and our program will not exceed 60 minutes.

To reserve your seat, please contact CASA by calling (717) 208-3280 or emailing casa@casalancaster.org. CASA of Lancaster County provides court appointed volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children in the belief that every child deserves a safe, nurturing, and permanent home.

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