Child Abuse Awareness Month
Throughout the month of April, Bluebonnet CASA joins with other child abuse prevention organizations in a signing of the proclamation for Child Abuse Awareness Month. This documents proclaims the issue we are facing with child abuse and the importance of working to put a stop to the abuse and neglect.
More than three million children are reported as abused or neglected in America every year, with one million of those cases being confirmed. And, sadly, over 160 children died in Texas alone last year from child abuse or neglect. While these statistics are horrifying, there is hope. We know that child abuse and neglect are preventable. There is no reason for this many children to not enjoy a sense of security in the one place they should expect it most – home.
Our proclamation states the following:
WHEREAS, in Federal fiscal year 2014, the Texas Department of Family & Protective Services confirmed 66,572 cases of child abuse or neglect, including 19 in Mason, Menard, McCulloch and Kimble counties.
WHEREAS, child abuse and neglect is a serious problem affecting every segment of our community, and finding solutions requires input and action from everyone in our community; and
WHEREAS, our children are our most valuable resources and will shape the future of Texas; and
WHEREAS, child abuse can have long-term psychological, emotional, and physical effects that can have lifelong consequences for victims of abuse; and
WHEREAS, protective factors are conditions that reduce or eliminate risk and promote the social, emotional, and developmental well-being of children;
WHEREAS, effective child abuse prevention activities succeed because of the meaningful connections and partnerships created between child welfare, education, health, community- and faith-based organizations, businesses and law enforcement agencies; and
WHEREAS, communities must make every effort to promote programs and activities that benefit children and their families;
WHEREAS, we acknowledge that we must work together as a community to increase awareness about child abuse and contribute to promote the social and emotional well-being of children and families in a safe, stable, nurturing environment.
WHEREAS, prevention remains the best defense for our children and families;
WHEREAS, the impact of abuse and neglect has long-term personal, economic and social costs; therefore, hurting Texas’ future;
WHEREAS, Court Appointed Special Advocates® – CASA volunteers – are assigned by the court to speak up for a child’s best interest and be a voice for that child in the courts;
WHEREAS, every child in care deserves a CASA volunteer, but roughly less than half the children in care do not have a CASA volunteer;
WHEREAS, 8,066 CASA volunteers spoke up for the best interest of 24,742 children in Texas last year;
WHEREAS, Bluebonnet CASA, Child Protective Services, Child Advocacy Centers, foster parents, teachers and others work to ensure that children in our community have the opportunity to grow up in safe, loving permanent homes;
We’d like to take the opportunity to highlight the great work that our volunteers do, as well as other organizations like the Mason Child Welfare Board and the Hill County Children’s Advocacy Center that work to ensure children are safe and healthy.