Ellensburg, Washington (February 4, 2020) – Through best-interest advocacy, Court Advocates for Children and our volunteers make a life-changing difference for Kittitas County’s most vulnerable children.
Kittitas County’s CASA program, Court Advocates for Children began in 1985 under the leadership of Kittitas County Superior Court Judge JoAnne Alumbaugh. For over 35 years the program has been advocating for children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect and/or abandonment. “Our mission is to provide trained independent volunteers who promote and advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children within the justice system of Kittitas County,” said Carol Pidduck, Executive Director. Currently the program has 25 volunteer advocates; many who have been with the program for over five years. “It is the volunteers that really make this program work”, shared Sandra Bankston, Deputy Director & Volunteer Manager. “Their dedication to the mission, willingness to volunteer the time and energy, and passion for the children is beyond words.”
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month and throughout the year, Court Advocates for Children encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Kittitas County a better place for children and families. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help prevent child abuse and neglect by creating strong and thriving children, youth, and families in our communities. Research shows that protective factors are present in healthy families. Protective factors are conditions or attributes of individuals, families, communities, or the larger society that mitigate risk and promote healthy development and wellbeing. Promoting the following protective factors is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of child
abuse and neglect:
• Nurturing and attachment
• Knowledge of parenting and of child and youth development
• Parental resilience
• Social connections
• Concrete supports for parents
• Social and emotional competence of children
April is a time to celebrate the important role that communities play in protecting children and strengthening families,” said Sarah Read, Outreach Coordinator. “Everyone’s participation is critical. Focusing on ways to connect with families is the best thing our community can do to strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect.” During this month (April) Court Advocates for Children typically hosts multiple events to promote awareness and raise money to support continued advocacy, but due to the outbreak of the Corona Virus that is not possible this year. However, advocacy must go on. Our volunteers continue to advocate for the abused and neglected children in Kittitas County remotely. The task has become undoubtedly more difficult, but nonetheless they remain committed.
Court Advocates for Children humbly asks for your support. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer advocate or perhaps would like to donate to the program, we would be grateful. We are currently advocating for over 100 children in Kittitas County and have 25 volunteers to do so. It costs about $1200 per child per year to effectively advocate on their behalf. Since we are a non-profit, we rely solely on donations to keep our program going. You can learn more about becoming a volunteer or donating on our website at www.casaprogram.org.
About Court Advocates for Children: Court Advocates for Children for Kittitas County is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and abuse and neglected child advocacy program currently serving 149 abused, neglected and/ or abandoned children ages birth to eighteen years in Kittitas County. We provide trained independent volunteers who promote and advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the justice system of Kittitas County. We envision a community that is aware of and committed to the efforts of Court Advocates to secure safe, permanent, and loving home for abused and neglected children in Kittitas County.Donate