It's Time To End Child AbuseLANCASTER, PA (March 11, 2014) - The time has come for us to END child abuse and neglect. It’s time for each of us to take a stand and to make sure that Lancaster County is a safe place for our children to live and grow up.
According to the Kids Count Data Center, on any one given day, over 400 Lancaster County children are in foster care because they have experienced abuse and neglect so severe that they were removed from their homes. That means that on average, four Lancaster County children enter the foster care system every week.
Children rarely exit the foster care system as quickly as anyone would like so that in the course of one year, over 600 Lancaster County children find themselves in foster care as victims of abuse and neglect.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Some of us may take a break from our busy lives, wear a blue ribbon, maybe attend an activity and say that these children are in our hearts. But with more than 600 Lancaster County children in foster care in one year – 55 percent under the age of 10 – we are not doing enough.
Children who are abused and do not get help to heal are more likely to grow up to be abusers, have mental health problems, drop out of school, end up homeless, have children before they’re ready, turn to crime, and strain our already fragile social safety net. This spiral not only threatens the future of the child, but that of our own community and neighborhood.
You have the opportunity to change that by getting involved.
Too many children in the overburdened foster care system are slipping through the cracks and are in danger of becoming a statistic on the wrong side of ledger. One way you can help is to become involved with Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Lancaster County. One person really can make a difference by speaking up for a child in foster care.
Every one of us has an obligation and an opportunity to break the cycle of child abuse and neglect. If you see abuse, report it to Child Line at (800) 932-0313. If a child’s life is in danger, call 911. If you want to make a lifelong difference, become involved with CASA by attending one of our Community Awareness Sessions on Engagement (C.A.S.E.)
We challenge you to stand with us and demand an end to child abuse and neglect. If we all come together, maybe we won’t need a Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Join us at C.A.S.E. for CASA on one of the following days:
- Tue, Apr 15, 12:00 pm, Lancaster Co. Community Foundation, 24 W King St, Ste 201, Lancaster
- Tue, May 20, 6:00 pm, Garden Spot Village, 433 S Kinzer Ave, New Holland
- Tue, Jun 17, 6:00 pm at CASA, 53 N Duke St, Suite 218, Lancaster
Come see audiovisual testimony from youth who have had an active child advocate in their lives during their childhood. As children, these young adults were positively affected by CASA and will share the long term impact of having a qualified, compassionate adult fight for and protect their right to be safe, to be treated with dignity and respect, and to learn and grow in the security of a loving family.
The sessions are 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 email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo caption: In the course of one year, over 600 Lancaster County children find themselves in foster care as victims of abuse and neglect. Over half of the children in foster care for more than 2 years will live in three or more different placements. Photo courtesy of National CASA Association.