A Message from our CEO
SEATTLE, Washington – April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, which recognizes the importance of communities working together to help families thrive and prevent child abuse and neglect. Though this month focuses our attention on protecting children, the National Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian ad Litem (CASA/GAL) Association for Children and our programs nationwide are focused every day, every month on increasing awareness about child and family well-being.
On any given day, there are nearly 424,000 children in foster care in the United States. In addition to experiencing the trauma of abuse or neglect, these children are also facing removal from their homes, new foster families, courtroom visits and myriad other changes that can cause uncertainty, loneliness or fear.
I am so appreciative of the nearly 97,000 CASA/GAL volunteers nationwide who advocate on the behalf of children who are before the court because they have experienced abuse or neglect. These volunteers are a consistent and supportive presence in the lives of children and youth. Though CASA and GAL volunteers are trained to advocate for the child, we also recognize that the families of the children we serve need support too.
The COVID-19 crisis has affirmed that every family can experience stress, isolation and uncertainty about the future. For all of us, everyday life has been turned upside down in the last year. As we continue to navigate our own challenges, I hope communities across the country will come together to support all families in order to protect children and youth. CASA/GAL programs and volunteers are here to advocate for the best interests of children who have experienced abuse or neglect. But, through communities working together to promote support systems and services that can build resilience for families who need it most, fewer children will likely have to experience the trauma of abuse, neglect or separation from their families.
We are grateful for your help in advancing our mission and sharing in our vision of a world where every child who has experienced abuse or neglect is given the opportunity to thrive in a safe and loving home.
Tara Lisa Perry
CEO, National CASA/GAL Association for Children