Kathy Bockelman: Help stop child abuse

To the editor:

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The national proclamation for Child Abuse Prevention Month states that “our nation’s children are our hope for the future, and caring for them is one of our greatest responsibilities … as a nation, we must continue … to ensure all children have the ability to live free from abuse and neglect.”

This month and throughout the year, Northwest Rocky Mountain Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children encourages all individuals and organizations to help make Craig a better place for children and families. CASA has been implementing a program in Craig this past year and we continue to seek people who are interested in making a difference in the lives of abused and neglected children. Court Appointed Special Advocates are trained and supervised volunteers, sworn in and appointed by a judge to advocate for abused and neglected children. They are a “child’s voice in court.”

Every child deserves a safe and permanent home free from fear, abuse, and neglect. Tragically, too many children are affected every day by sexual, emotional, and physical abuse.

Every year, more than 13,000 children in Colorado enter foster care. Nationwide more than 1,600 children die each year from the effects of child abuse. Child abuse happens in every community, including Craig. As responsible citizens, we must ask if we are doing all we can to make the world a better place for all children. All children need a safe, nurturing and permanent home where they can thrive.

Early prevention efforts are less costly to our nation and to individuals than trying to fix things later. One abused child is one too many. There are no easy answers for the serious issues of child abuse and neglect.

The mission of Northwest Rocky Mountain CASA is to recruit, educate and empower community volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the 14th Judicial District to ensure that each and every child is permitted to grow up in a safe and permanent home.

CASA is a non-profit organization and we need your help to carry out our mission. There are many ways you can help. Call and find out what it takes to become a CASA volunteer. Join our Community Development Committee and help with fundraising and public relations.

You can “donate now” online at www.nwrmcasa.org. Join us at our “Dine Out for CASA” fundraising event. On Tuesday and again April 26, the following restaurants have generously agreed to donate a portion of their profits to CASA: Carelli’s, Casa Loya, Golden Cavvy, Pizza Hut, and Wendy’s. Please support these restaurants and help CASA, too.

As a society, we won’t be given another chance to get it right for this generation of children. Help break the cycle of abuse and neglect. To find out how you can become a part of CASA and stand up for an abused child, please contact me at 620-2342 or at nwcasacraig@coloradocasa.org.

Kathy Bockelman

CASA program coordinator

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