The end of summer and the start of a new school year is an exciting time for most children. But for some, the beginning of school could reveal a dark secret when signs of abuse and neglect these children have suffered over the summer are noticed by teachers, staff and other parents.
Teachers in the state of Texas are mandated by law to report child abuse and neglect. According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, schools were the number one source of reports of child abuse and neglect in 2013.
The department completed over 35,000 investigations as a result of reports from school officials. Because children are subject to less adult supervision over the summer, it’s not uncommon for reports of suspected abuse and neglect to spike at the start of the school year.
Many of the children who are confirmed as victims are removed from their homes and placed into foster care – often far from their friends, families and schools.
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) volunteers from Golden Crescent CASA are specially screened and trained to speak up for abused and neglected children who, through no fault of their own, end up in the foster care system.
Being uprooted from their homes and families is scary for these children. We at Golden Crescent CASA want to make sure that they do not get lost in the overburdened foster care system.
For that reason, we need more people in our community to speak up and make sure these children’s voices are heard. We want to help ensure that their stay in foster care is as short as possible and that they are placed in safe, loving homes quickly so they can begin to heal.
Unfortunately, too many children are forced to go through the chaos of moving through the child protection system alone. Golden Crescent CASA needs more volunteers to step up and be a voice for children who desperately need them.
CASA volunteers are ranchers, teachers, homemakers, doctors, men and women all with a desire to help children.
This school year, become a CASA volunteer and help children in need find safe, permanent homes.
For more information on volunteer training or supporting our mission, call (361) 573-3734 or visit www.goldencrescentcasa.org.
Golden Crescent CASA