CASA

During National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April, Southeast Nebraska CASA challenges residents of Seward and Saline counties to stand against child abuse and take action to support children who have been abused or neglected.

Right now, there are 13 children being served by eight CASA volunteers in Seward County, but six children are still waiting for a volunteer. In Saline County, three CASA volunteers are serving four children, with 11 waiting for a volunteer. These children come into the child welfare system through no fault of their own.

“We want to give the children a voice,” CASA Executive Director Marci Fehlhafer said. “By becoming a volunteer, you can help us speak for the children in the child welfare system, Every child deserves the support of a caring, consistent, trained adult to help them find a safe, loving home where they can heal and thrive.”

Without intervention, the odds are stacked against children in foster care. A child with a Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteer, however, spends 20% less time in foster care, on average, compared to a child without a CASA volunteer. Studies show children with a CASA volunteer receive more services that are critical to their well-being and are four times more likely to find a permanent home.

“CASA volunteers are a constant for the child in a time of chaos,” Fehlhafer said. “A child may have multiple social workers, attorneys, therapists and foster placements throughout the life of the case but only one CASA volunteer, which can make all the difference for the child’s future.”

Throughout April, Southeast Nebraska CASA is calling on members of the community to help the program serve more of the most vulnerable children in Seward and Saline counties. With all of the changes going on in the world, CASA is still advocating for the children, and training new volunteers, but the platform has changed.

All of the volunteer training is now done virtually, and the next virtual training session will begin April 28 at 6 p.m. Contact Fehlhafer for more information at director@southeastnebraskacasa.org or (402) 643-3695 x1. Visit the website www.southeastnebraskacasa.org to become a supporter or to learn more about becoming a volunteer.

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