LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Despite the global pandemic, volunteers are continuing to be the voice for abused and neglected children in our community.
A CASA, which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate, helps one child or sibling group at a time. They build relationships with children, social workers, therapists, counselors, teachers, and pediatricians. Because CASA volunteers focus on one child or sibling group, they understand children’s unique needs and help judges make better decisions for the short- and long-term well-being of their children. The need for people to volunteer is even higher right now.
“For the second year in a row, Kentucky has had the highest number of child abuse and neglect cases in the country,” William Myers, CEO/President of CASA of the River Region, said. “In the last few months, many children have been isolated from teachers, counselors, and friends who are traditional reporters of abuse. With COVID-19, some children have been sheltering at home with their abuser. We expect a rise in cases as schools open to in-person classes.”
Kentucky’s child abuse rate is 22 out of every 1,000 children. Out of the thousands of cases, CASA of the River Region’s service area receives 1 in 9 cases in the state. This branch serves Jefferson, Henry, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer, and Trimble counties.
Recently, CASA of the River Region completed its first virtual training class, graduating 11 CASA Advocates.
To learn more about volunteering as a child advocate, CASA holds two virtual information sessions on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month. For more information or to RSVP, visit www.casarr.org/casa101.