The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Start of school year often reveals child abuse, neglect

 


The end of summer and the start of a new school year is an exciting time for most children. But for some, the beginning of school could reveal a dark secret when signs of abuse and neglect these children have suffered over the summer are noticed by teachers, staff and other parents.

“Because children are subject to less adult supervision over the summer, it’s not uncommon for reports of suspected abused and neglect to spike at the start of the school year,” said Rose Bowcut Executive Director of Cheyenne County CASA.

Many of the children who are confirmed as victims are removed from their homes and placed into foster care – often far from their friends, families and schools. CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) volunteers from Cheyenne County are specially screened and trained to speak up for abused and neglected children who, through no fault of their own, end up in the foster care system.

“Being uprooted from their homes and families is scare for these children. We at Cheyenne County CASA want to make sure that they do not get lost in the overburdened foster care system,” Bowcut said. “For that reason, we need more people in our community to speak up and make sure these children’s voices are heard. We want to help ensure that their stay in foster care is as short as possible and that they are placed in safe, loving homes quickly so they can begin to heal.”

There are abused and neglected children in the child protection system in Cheyenne County, but only 25 percent of those children are represented by a CASA volunteer to advocate for their best interests.

“Too many children are forced to go through the chaos of moving through the child protection system alone,” Bowcut said. “Cheyenne County CASA needs more volunteers to step up and be voice for children who desperately need them.”

Kesli Miller has been a CASA volunteer for a little less than a year. As a CASA volunteer, she advocates for children’s needs in court, in the child welfare system and through foster care transitions. Miller’s number one goal is to advocate for the children’s best interests.

“We need more dedicated CASA volunteers like Miller to walk the children every step of the way and enure that they are placed into safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible,” Bowcut added.

This year, become a CASA volunteer and help children in need in our community find safe, permanent homes. For more information, visit cheyennecountycasa.org and CASAforChildren.org.

 

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