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April Is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Help us serve more children 

“As a boy, my three sisters and I suffered just about every form of abuse you can imagine—emotional and physical attacks by my mother, later sexual abuse by her and her boyfriend. When I was 13 years old, we were all removed from our home…There was so much I did not know about the foster care system. Without knowledge or the power to speak up, I felt like a victim. A year and a half later, I met my CASA volunteer, Robert. And everything changed.” – Dashun, former foster youth

Every year, more than 683,000 children like Dashun experience abuse or neglect. For the 250,000 children with a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) or volunteer guardian ad litem (GAL), someone is standing by them for as long as it takes to reach a safe, permanent home.

This April, we recognize Child Abuse Prevention Month and honor the 77,000 CASA and GAL volunteers who put the child’s best interests before all others so they never again experience the trauma of child abuse. Appointed by judges, court-appointed advocates help children heal and thrive so they can become happy, successful adults.

Our volunteers are a constant for the child in a time of chaos. A child may have multiple social workers, attorneys, therapists and foster placements throughout the life of the case but only one court-appointed volunteer, which can make all the difference for the child’s future.

Without intervention, the odds are stacked against children who have been abused or neglected. A child with a CASA or GAL volunteer will leave the foster care system two-and-a-half months earlier, on average, compared to a child without an advocate. Studies show children with a court-appointed volunteer receive more services that are critical to their well-being than children without an advocate, and those children are more likely to achieve educational success. 

Although CASA and GAL programs are reaching a quarter million children, 433,000 more are facing a frightening and profound unknown alone.

This Child Abuse Prevention Month, help us get closer to our goal of ensuring every child who has experienced the trauma and sadness of child abuse has the support of a caring, consistent, and highly trained adult.

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The US Department of Justice has supported CASA advocacy since 1985 through its Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
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