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The Helena Arkansas Daily World - Helena, AR
  • CASA promotes child abuse awareness

  • Throughout the Month of April, CASA of Phillips County is raising awareness for the problem of child abuse by scheduling a number of events. “We believe that preventing abuse is a shared responsibility in our community: the more you know about child abuse, the more you can and should do to help a child,” explained Kinah Brown, executive director.
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  • Throughout the Month of April, CASA of Phillips County is raising awareness for the problem of child abuse by scheduling a number of events. “We believe that preventing abuse is a shared responsibility in our community: the more you know about child abuse, the more you can and should do to help a child,” explained Kinah Brown, executive director. According to Brown, CASA of Phillips County hopes to create a greater awareness of child abuse and help promote and encourage others to volunteer. “On Monday, April 8th a proclamation was signed by Judge Don Gentry at the Phillips County Court House as blue ribbons adorned the courthouse steps. On April 12th everyone is encouraged to wear blue as a visible commitment to support child abuse prevention. We will then take a moment on April 17th at noon at Court Square Park for prayer and a moment of silence for the victims of child abuse and on April 20th we will be having a gospel concert entitled 'Lifting Voices for Children' a gospel music celebration from 6pm to 8pm at the PLM&D Center,” announced Brown. CASA got its start in 1977, when a Seattle juvenile court judge concerned about making drastic decisions with insufficient information, conceived the idea of citizen volunteers speaking up for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom. From that first program has grown a network of more than 946 CASA and guardian ad litem programs that are recruiting, training and supporting volunteers in 49 states. CASA of Phillips County was started November 2008 and strives for what is in the best interest of children who have come to the attention of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Juvenile Courts as a result of abuse, abandonment or neglect. “Currently, there are over 280 children in the 1st Judicial District that need CASA volunteers who are appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children, to make sure they don't get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languish in inappropriate group or foster homes,” commented Brown. The National CASA Association is a network of 946 programs that are recruiting, training and supporting volunteers to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom and other settings. According to Brown, volunteers stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. For many abused children, their CASA volunteer will be the one constant adult presence in their lives. For more information about these events, or how to become a volunteer please contact Kinah Brown at 870-338-8815 or casa.phillips@att.net
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