April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month
April is set aside to recommit ourselves to ending the vicious cycle of abuse, and to stand up for every child that needs a VOICE! Citizens are encouraged to start wearing blue ribbons in support of National Child Abuse Prevention Month during April. CASA of Titus, Camp and Morris Counties is partnering with the Department of Family Protective Services, Ounce of Prevention and Morris County Child Welfare Board to bring attention to Child Abuse Prevention Month. The statistics for the State of Texas are startling:
• Between FY 2017 and 2018 in Texas:
o The number of child abuse victims increased to 66,352 in 2018 from 63,657 in 2017. Nearly 42% of the victims were under the age of 3.
o The number of children removed from their natural homes increased by 9.7%.
o There were increases in children placed in foster care (1.48%) and emergency shelters (4.13%),
o There were increases in children entering care with higher levels of needs: psychiatric (17%), intensive (17.4%), specialized (6.83%), and Necessary (5.37%).
• Texas had 211 confirmed child abuse and neglect-related fatalities in FY2018, an increase of 22.7% compared to FY2017 (172). 36% of the victims were infants, and 69% were under the age of three.
• The increase in child maltreatment fatalities in FY2018 is predominantly due to physical abuse fatalities which increased by 58% over FY2017.
• From FY2017 to FY2018 there was a 25% increase in child fatalities caused by abuse or neglect involving a parent or caregiver using a substance actively and/or under the influence of at least one element that affected the ability to care for the child.
CASA of Titus, Camp, and Morris Counties is a non-profit volunteer-based organization and one of the 72 CASA programs across Texas that works with the Department of Family and Protective Services to ensure that all children are safe. The children that are placed in the foster care system, due to abuse or neglect, must have someone to speak up for them so they can have a safe, permanent and nurturing environment that children need to thrive.” said Cobern, Executive Director of CASA. “CASA programs recruit, train and support everyday members of the community to SPEAK UP for the best interests of children in court to ensure that they are placed into loving, permanent homes as quickly as possible. These extraordinary people are called Court Appointed Special Advocates “CASA” Volunteers.”
In a time when so many are focusing on the problems, CASA of Titus, Camp and Morris Counties is collaborating with other stakeholders like Ounce of Prevention, Morris County Child Welfare Board and The Department of Family Protective Services and contributing to the solution.
Every year, for April, CASA of Titus, Camp, and Morris Counties decorates the courthouse in the three counties that CASA of Titus, Camp, and Morris serves. Each courthouse displays 206 blue pinwheels on the courthouse lawn. Each pinwheel represents a child that CASA of Titus, Camp, and Morris County served in 2018. Please take note and participate in National and Local efforts to create awareness of Child Abuse Prevention Month in our community and across the nation:
April 1, 2019 Community Gathering @ Morris County Court House at 9:15 am, Morris County Judge Doug Reeder will sign a Proclamation. Students from DJHS will be photographed placing 206 pinwheels representing each child CASA served in foster care in 2018. The group will also have Ounce of Prevention Partners, CPS, Morris County Child Welfare Board, Law Enforcement and other community supporters available for the photograph.
April 5, 2019, Go Blue Day – Wear Blue for Child Abuse Prevention Month
April 5, 2019, Morris County Child Welfare Board Balloon Release – 9am West Elementary and 10:30am Pewitt Elementary
April 7-13, 2019 – Crime Victims Week
April 16-20, 2019 Child Abuse Prevention Week – Schools will have activities.
April 28, 2019, Blue Sunday – Churches and Faith-based groups and congregations are asked to declare, Sunday, April 28, as “Blue Sunday.” Churches can receive information and are asked to remind members to be aware of signs of abuse and their duty to respond when they see a child in need. Churches are also invited to pray for children in foster care, DFPS workers and CASA Advocates.
TAKE A STAND for a child in need, visit becomeacasa.org or casatcm.org, or contact 903-767-3679 and get involved. Every child has a chance – IT’S YOU!