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TO THE EDITOR:

In honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, Eddy County CASA is issuing a call to action for residents of Artesia and Eddy County to stand against child abuse and take action to support children who have been abused or neglected.

At any given time, there are over 100 children in foster care in Eddy County. These children come into the child welfare system through no fault of their own.

The needs of Eddy County’s children coming into care are more complicated than ever before, and life in foster care can be chaotic. Every child deserves the support of caring, consistent adult with the training to help them heal and thrive.

Throughout the month of April, Eddy County CASA is calling on members of the community to help our program serve more of Eddy County’s most vulnerable children. The Fifth Annual Walk Against Child Abuse will be held April 7. Everyone is invited to meet at CYFD, located at 901 De Baca St. in Carlsbad, at 8:30 a.m. to join our walk from CYFD to the Courthouse.

Training for new child advocates (CASA volunteers) begins soon and our children need your voice.

Without intervention, the odds are stacked against children in foster care. A child with a Court Appoint Special Advocate volunteer, however, will leave the foster care system two-and-a-half months earlier, 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 than children without an advocate, and those children are more likely to achieve educational success.

CASA volunteers are a constant for the child in a time of chaos. A child may have multiple social workers, 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.

Eddy County CASA is a member of the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (National CASA), a nationwide network of programs in nearly 1,000 communities. At the heart of the movement are nearly 77,000 highly trained volunteers who advocate for the best interests of more than 250,000 of America’s children who have been abused or neglected. In Eddy County, there are 42 volunteer advocates fighting for the best interests of 102 children but many more children need the care and support of a CASA volunteer.

For more information about Eddy County CASA, to become a supporter, or to volunteer, visit us on Facebook or www.eddycountycasa.org, or call 746-6077. CASA is a United Way Agency Partner.

Libby Johnston
Executive Director, Eddy County CASA