CASA Sows Change with Pinwheel Garden
The recent placement of dozens of pinwheels on the slope on the underpass has left some in the community curious. The blue and silver pinwheel is the symbol of child abuse prevention and were placed there in recognition of April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, along with several communities across America planting pinwheel gardens to raise awareness. The display was put together by the local CASA Program placing a pinwheel for every child who was in foster care last year and one for every child who is currently in foster care. Over 100 pinwheels have been placed along the slope and each one represents a child who was abused or neglected in Valley County.
Currently there are almost 40 children in Valley County who have been removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect. In these cases, a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) from the community is appointed to investigate, facilitate, monitor, and advocate for the abused child's best interest. By focusing on one child at a time, CASA Volunteers can provide information about a specific child. These volunteers also serve as watchdogs, making sure that their child doesn't slip through the cracks of the overburdened child welfare system.
To become a CASA volunteer, you do not need any previous experience or special skills, but the task requires individuals possess common sense and a passion for seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our community. CASA presents a 30-hour pre-service training course that provides a solid foundation to begin serving abused and neglected children in our courts and in our community. A pre-service training class will begin on May 15.
For more information about Child Abuse Prevention Month or becoming a CASA, contact Mark Douglass as [email protected] or by calling 406-265-6743 ext. 1135.