Today is Sunday, April 30, 2017

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

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Pinwheels were placed at Gallatin City Hall to recognize Child Abuse Prevention Month. SUBMITTED

In honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, Sumner County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) is issuing a call to action for residents of Sumner County to stand against child abuse and take action to support children who have been abused or neglected.

At any given time, there are more than 150 children in foster care in Sumner County. These children come into the child welfare system through no fault of their own. In Sumner County CASA advocates for 200 children every year that have been subjected to child abuse and/or neglect. In Sumner County, Tennessee, there are 30 volunteer advocates fighting for the best interests of over 150 children but there are 20 more children on the waitlist that need the care and support of a CASA volunteer.

"The needs of Sumner County's children coming into care are more complicated than ever before," said Sonya Manfred. "Every child deserves the support of caring, consistent adult with the training to help them heal and thrive."

Throughout the month of April, Sumner County CASA is calling on members of the community to help our program serve more of Sumner County's most vulnerable children. This help can be with donating, volunteering or reporting child abuse when it is suspected.

Without intervention, the odds are stacked against children in foster care. A child with a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer, however, will leave the foster care system two-and-a-half months earlier, on average, compared to a child without a CASA volunteer. Studies show children with a CASA 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.

"CASA volunteers are the courts ears and eyes, "says Judge Barry Brown; Sumner County Juvenile Court Judge for 32 years. "A child may have multiple social workers, attorneys, therapists and foster placements throughout the life of the case, but only one CASA volunteer, which can make all the difference for the child's future."

Sumner County CASA is a member of the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (National CASA), a nationwide network of programs in nearly 1,000 communities. At the heart of the movement are nearly 77,000 highly trained volunteers who advocate for the best interests of more than 250,000 of America's children who have been abused or neglected.

Sumner County CASA is a nonprofit United Way organization funded under an agreement with the State of Tennessee.

For more information about Sumner County CASA, to become a supporter or to volunteer, visit sumnercasa.org or call (615) 451-1688.

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