- Every day 33 children are the victims of confirmed abuse or neglect.
- Children who suffer abuse or neglect are 53% more likely to become juvenile delinquents, 38% more likely to be arrested as adults, and 38% more likely to become violent criminals.
- The biological parents are often responsible for the abuse and neglect.
- Over 200 incidents of child abuse and neglect are reported daily.
- 113 children in Georgia died from abuse and neglect in 2015.
- On any given day, over 12,000 children are in the foster care system.
- 19,4665 children came through the foster care system during state fiscal year 2016.
- About 85% of these children are victimized in their own homes. About 1 child out of every 6 is sexually abused before his/her 18th birthday.
- Georgia ranks as the 5th highest state in the nation in the number of children who have been abused and neglected.
- Interrupting the cycle of abuse is the focus of a CASA volunteer.
- A safe, permanent home is CASA’s goal for each child.
- CASA is the only organization of volunteer advocates who have been trained to speak as an independent voice in court for children’s best interest. The U.S. Department of Justice has recognized CASA as a model program and views CASA as “a safety net for abused and neglected children.”
- There are over 900 CASA programs throughout the U.S. with over 77,000 CASA volunteers.
- Over 2 million children have been served since CASA was founded in 1977.
- In fiscal year 2017, CASA programs in Georgia had over 2400 volunteers accounting serving over 10,000 children. Nearly 50% of the children in Georgia still need a CASA.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
By becoming a CASA volunteer, you can act as an advocate for an abused or neglected child in Clayton County. Your voice for them in court will help ensure that permanency is found in the best interest of the child in an expeditious manner.
CASA adds insight. CASA volunteer are appointed by a juvenile court judge to gather information about the child’s case and to give an independent recommendation to the judge based on the information according to the best interests of the child. CASA gives the judge extra information that he or she needs to make crucial decisions about the child’s future.
CASA saves tax dollars. CASA is a nonprofit, volunteer organization that provides trained, screened, and supervised volunteers to act as GALs for abused and neglected children involved in juvenile court dependency proceedings. Thus CASA saves the state tax dollars which would otherwise be used to hire attorney GALs for these children. In addition, CASA often helps decrease the amount of time that these children spend in the foster care system resulting in the additional savings to the state. Last year, CASA saved the state of Georgia more than 1.4 million in foster care costs.
CASA offers hope. CASA volunteers are often one of the few consistent figures in the child’s life. While a child may have many case workers, foster parents, schools, and residences, the CASA stays with the child throughout the duration of the case. Because they carry an average of only two cases, CASAs are able to give the children what no one else in the system can — TIME. CASA’s main focus is to ensure that every child has a safe, permanent home as quickly as possible. By doing this, CASA helps to not only end the abuse or neglect experienced by one particular child, but to break the cycle of violence and abuse that will otherwise continue through that child.