CASA sets sights on child abuse prevention


April 1, 2015 - 12:00 AM

Tuesday’s storybook weather provided a brilliant backdrop as officials with the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program kicked off Child Abuse Prevention Month with style.
Several CASA representatives attended Tuesday’s Allen County Commission meeting for a proclamation ceremony before the group descended upon the courthouse square to “plant” 120 pinwheels.
The pinwheels represent organizations and people available to help prevent child abuse and keep families together, explained CASA executive director Aimee Daniels.
The need for help remains, Daniels said, noting the 212 children who have received help from CASA in the 31st Judicial District — including Allen County — in 2014. Statewide, approximately 6,800 children are in foster homes, and about 1,500 of those children are seeking adoption resources for a permanent home.
CASA is a non-profit, independent organization that recruits and trains local citizens to serve children in need of care in the court system.
Those representatives help children navigate the complex system of child welfare and foster care.
Local helpers have risen to the cause. Joe Hess, representing Iola Senior Citizens, Inc., donated $500 on his organization’s behalf, using proceeds generated from the group’s thrift store on North State Street.
In addition, customers at local Pump ‘N Pete’s franchises will be given the opportunity to donate and sign pinwheel pledges in support of CASA.
Daniels also lauded Hope Unlimited’s efforts. Hope Unlimited provides a Children’s Advocacy Center, a supervised visitation center and a domestic violence shelter.
“Together CASA and Hope Unlimited are combating child abuse in Southeast Kansas,” Daniels said. “Both always need more volunteers.”

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