Child Abuse Prevention Does Not Have an Expiration Date
National Child Abuse Prevention Month is coming to a close but the need for prevention does not expire on April 30, rather it remains your job year round. The impact of child abuse is not limited to the staggering physical and emotional difficulties for those who have suffered abuse, it is a social issue that impacts everyone. The average national cost for a child in foster care is conservatively estimated at $26,000 per year. Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count Data Center reports that in Lancaster County, a snapshot of foster care in 2012 shows 440 children in foster care, with 683 children in foster care for all or part of the year from April 2011 through March 2012. For just the snapshot of 440 children, the cost of foster care translates to over 11 million dollars – for just our county, for only one year.
Removing the fiscal framework from the impact of child abuse, in 2012 Lancaster County had 440 children suffer abuse and neglect so severe that it required the intervention of the social service agency and courts - four hundred and forty children. CASA or Court Appointed Special Advocates urges you to get involved, there are a myriad of organizations within the county that utilize the efforts of volunteers and compassionate citizens in the on-going battle to eliminate child abuse in our county. CASA is one of those organizations. There are many opportunities to be involved with the CASA program. CASA is central to fulfilling society’s most fundamental obligation by making sure a qualified, compassionate adult will fight for and protect a child’s right to be safe, to be treated with dignity and respect, and to learn and grow in the security of a loving family. CASA volunteer advocates are court-appointed to represent the best interest of children who have suffered abuse and neglect with the belief that all children deserve safe, nurturing, and permanent homes. In addition to volunteer advocates, CASA offers other opportunities such as serving on a special events committee or assisting in the CASA office. CASA is hosting the first annual "I Am for the Child” Community Awareness Breakfast on Thursday, May 9, 2013 at Heritage Hotel. The event is open to the community and is free of charge, but advance registration is required as seating is limited. You can register by visiting www.casalancaster.org. Please call 717-208-3280 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about CASA and how to get involved.