NATIONAL CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Each year more than 390,000 children in the United States are in the court system and foster care due to experiencing abuse or neglect. A child placed in foster care will often move into multiple homes and attend multiple schools. All of this chaos and inconsistency has been proven to have long-term effects. According to the CDC, at least one in seven children have experienced child abuse or neglect in the past year. In 2021, in the United States alone, an estimated 600,000 children experienced abuse or neglect and 1,820 children died or abuse and neglect according to the Children’s Bureau 2021 Child Maltreatment Report.
The Child Maltreatment Report showed 75% of child maltreatment victims are neglected, 15% are physically abused, and 10% are sexually abused. The youngest children are the most vulnerable. More than one quarter of victims are under two years old.
Front Range CASA supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy so every child who has experienced abuse or neglect in the court system can be safe, have a permanent home and the opportunity to thrive. As a consistent, caring adult in the child’s life, Front Range CASA volunteers help the Judge in the 9th Judicial District make the most informed decision for the well being of the child. These dedicated volunteers also help identify resources for the child and their families to help strengthen families and prevent crises before they occur.
In the 9th Judicial District (Glacier, Pondera, Teton and Toole Counties) we currently provide advocacy to over 70 children. Volunteers are assigned to the most difficult and complex cases being adjudicated. These dedicated volunteers are everyday people who want to make a difference in the life of a child. Front Range CASA is always looking to recruit volunteers. Training is provided at your convenience. To learn more about the organization and how to become a volunteer, contact Executive Director Kiersta Sullivan at 406-576-7041 or firstname.lastname@example.org. See how you can be a voice for a child.
If not you-who?
If not now-when?
Volunteer or donate today.
For more information about becoming a supporter or to volunteer, visit our volunteer page .
If you read the paper or watch the news, you already know the magnitude of the opioid epidemic in this country. While lawmakers, public officials, and the media focus on the public health crisis, we focus on the silent victims—the children.
Of course, parental substance abuse isn’t new, and we have always advocated for the best interests of children who have experienced abuse or neglect as a result of a parent’s addiction.
But over the last five years, the number of children in foster care across the country has risen 8 percent, which public officials increasingly attribute to the growing use of opioids. Sadly, we expect this number to continue to climb. Which means our role—and yours—has never been more important.
We have more than 20 volunteers fighting every day to help more than 55 children get the support and services they need. And that’s just the start. We are raising awareness about this issue and actively working to grow our volunteer base to be there for these children.
It takes a movement of committed individuals to speak up for these children. You are an important part of the CASA movement. Please visit our website and make a gift to today or inquire how you can become a Voice for a Child. In doing so, you will help give a child the support of a dedicated, highly-trained volunteer who will make sure they don’t get lost in the system and have what they need to heal and thrive.
Having a CASA volunteer to put a child’s best interests before all others can make all the difference.
Together, we can help child victims of the opioid crisis.
WHAT IS CASA?
Each year in Montana, children are removed from their families and placed in some form of foster care. These children have committed no crime, but are simply victims – children who have been abused, neglected or abandoned. The judge must consider: Did the conditions at home warrant removal? Is the home now “safe” so the child may be returned? Or, should that child be permanently placed in another home?
In the past, Judges often had to base these decisions on incomplete information. Overburdened child welfare workers and attorneys rarely have the time or resources to thoroughly monitor court orders, or to find out first-hand what is really best for each individual child. As reports of abuse and neglect keep crowding court dockets, more and more children have become “lost” in the confusing maze of the foster care system.
Today, 50,000 advocates speak up for these children as Court Appointed Special Advocates or CASA volunteers. CASA’s are ordinary community members who are trained to speak for the best interest of abused children in the family court system.
CASA volunteers are asked to commit to one year of service and must be able to volunteer at least 8 to 15 hours per month. CASA’s are appointed by the Executive Director to a particular case, serving as the eyes and ears of the judge, gathering relevant information about the child and the family. They then make recommendations regarding the best interest of the child. Front Range CASA/GAL, Inc covers four counties, Glacier, Pondera, Teton and Toole.
In order to become a CASA, you must be 21 years of age, pass background checks and complete the mandatory training. Training is provided in the CASA volunteer role, understanding families and children, communicating as a CASA, information gathering, legal terminology, courtroom procedure, and system protocol. Due to COVID we are doing a Self-Guided Learning, which allows social distancing.
If you are interested in becoming a CASA, or know someone who might
be interested, please contact Kiersta Sullivan for more information.
"Sponsor a Child"
All money donated through the Sponsor a Child campaign will be used to purchase supplies that are needed for the children. These children need items throughout the school year and your donation will help the CASA meet these needs. Items such as diapers, school supplies, activity fees, shoes, seasonal clothing and other items identified by the child's advocate are among the items that we find children needing throughout the year. Donations to Front Range CASA are tax deductible. Any donated amount will be greatly appreciated and go directly to the needs of these abused and neglected children.
The Old Agency 4H club in Choteau made fleece blanket, sewed pillowcases and put together care bags to donate to Front Range CASA again this year. Many thanks to this young group of kids who took the time to put together these thoughtful gifts for the CASA kids. The kids collected items from local businesses and put together care bags. They were much appreciated. What an amazing group of kids. Thank you! VIEW MORE NEWS