Join CASA of the Tennessee Heartland’s commitment to helping victims of child abuse and neglect heal, and making sure all children feel safe and loved
Anytime a child is abused or neglected, it’s a tragedy—one that all too often scars victims for a lifetime. The latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are sobering:
- Child Protective Services agencies across the United States received some 3.4 million referrals of abuse or neglect involving 6.3 million children in 2012.
- An estimated 1,640 children died from child abuse or neglect in 2012, and nearly three-quarters of them were younger than age 3.
- In Anderson County, 592 child abuse cases were reported in 2012, and 121 children were brought into custody, with an additional 167 remaining in custody from previous years.
Studies have shown that children who have suffered abuse or neglect are more likely to struggle in school, have run-ins with law enforcement, experience homelessness, or abuse drugs or alcohol. Research also shows that abused children are more apt to grow up to abuse their own kids.
At CASA of the Tennessee Heartland, we help abused and neglected children heal so they can live happier, safer lives. Our CASA volunteers—court-appointed special advocates—make sure kids don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service systems, or languish in unsupportive foster homes. CASA volunteers stay with children until their court case is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. Currently, we are only serving 50 percent of our referrals in Anderson County, meaning more than 200 children are waiting for an advocate.
During National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we invite our community to learn more about the work we do and consider becoming a CASA volunteer. Please come by one of our offices, check out our website, or give us a call! We have training classes starting all year round.
Not everyone can be a CASA volunteer, but everyone can be an advocate by taking steps to make our community safer for our children:
- Be mindful of the signs of abuse and neglect in children, such as a lack of adult supervision, extreme passivity, or aggression or poor hygiene.
- Be aware of warning signs in parents, such as showing indifference or rarely touching or looking at their child, constant verbal criticism, demands for perfection, blaming the child for family problems, or other irrational behaviors.
- If you think a child is in immediate danger, don’t hesitate. Call 911.
- If you believe a child is being abused or neglected, report your suspicions confidentially to our state’s toll-free child abuse hotline at (877) 237-0004 or report online at https://reportabuse.state.tn.us/.
Working together, we can end abuse and neglect so that every child has a chance to thrive.
To find out more, visit us online at www.casatnh.org.