WARSAW – April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and CASA is inviting you to join them and other community members at noon, April 16, at the Kosciusko County Courthouse on the south lawn for a brief ceremony to bring awareness to this important cause.
Community leaders will speak on the importance of child abuse prevention and will plant pinwheels as a visual reminder of the reason they are gathering.
Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer offered a proclamation saluting the 67 local volunteers who donated 4,277 hours advocating last year for 167 abused or neglected children in the court system.
For youth in the foster care system, CASA volunteers are the supportive adult they need to walk alongside them. CASA volunteers are trained to understand the impact of trauma on children. They advocate for services that promote healing and help children build resilience. The work CASA volunteers do is life-changing, and sometimes life-saving.
“By becoming a CASA volunteer, supporting us financially or sharing our cause with others, you can make a difference”, said Rowland Jones.
If you are interested in becoming a CASA volunteer or donating to CASA of Kosciusko County please call (574)-372-2401 or go to www.casachildren.com.
In 2020, 162 children needed, and were assigned, a CASA due to abuse and neglect in Kosciusko County alone. The Indiana Department of Child Services received 216,277 reports in 2020 regarding concerns of child abuse and neglect.
In 2008, Prevent Child Abuse America introduced the blue pinwheel as the national symbol for child abuse prevention. These pinwheels represent a commitment to preventing child abuse and stand as a reminder of the happy childhoods and bright futures that all children deserve. The goal is to give a platform for the prevention of child abuse. CASA also wants to focus on ways we can support children who have experienced abuse or neglect and work to prevent future experience of abuse.
According to the Harvard Center on the Developing Child, the most common factor in developing resilience is having a stable relationship with a supportive adult. That’s where CASA of Kosciusko County comes in. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate. As an organization, CASA recruits, trains and supports volunteers who advocate for children in the court system.
CASAs get to know children and the adults around them so they can best understand the situation and how to advocate for those children in the court and in the community.
According to Erin Rowland Jones, executive director of CASA of Kosciusko County, “Our volunteers are simple, everyday people who care deeply about children. They come from every walk of life and range in age from 25 to 81 years of age. These volunteers are part of a national network of 93,300 volunteers who are doing this work.”
In 2020, CASA of Kosciusko County’s 67 CASA volunteers donated 4,277 hours of their time advocating for 167 abused and/or neglected children in our community plus advocating for 29 children embroiled in high conflict custody/visitation cases.
Anyone looking for more opportunities to support CASA, Clearwater Car Wash is donating $2 for every car wash to CASA on April 21, at the Warsaw location. Volunteers will be at the Car Wash handing out pinwheels and information about CASA. Warsaw Hacienda is also supporting CASA’s efforts by donating 20% of sales to CASA when presented with the CASA “token.” To get your CASA token, visit casachildren.com/April.