February is Black History Month and a special time to celebrate the accomplishments of African-Americans in our country.  It is a time to reflect upon our progress, but to also consider how far we still have to go; African-American child abuse victims are a reminder of this.  At the moment, African-American children in state custody are in need of positive adults in their lives.

“It’s not just a one-time thing. You can’t just have…a day of service on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. We’ve got to get deeply involved

Colin Powell, when discussing the importance of volunteering, stated, “It’s not just a one-time thing. You can’t just have…a day of service on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. We’ve got to get deeply involved in working with our kids on a continuing basis and not just one day a year.  We need more African-American men, for example, to step forward and serve as mentors to young kids who don’t have a responsible, caring adult male in their lives. If I could snap my finger and do one thing, I would make sure that every young American boy or girl, but especially African-American [children], have a responsible, caring adult in their lives.” We do not have enough African-American volunteers who can be a voice for these children. African-American children in foster care need an advocate who can relate to their background and help them to stay connected to their culture and history.  All children can and should benefit from having an African-American volunteer. 
As a CASA Advocate, you can have a major impact on the life of child abuse victims in foster care.  A child who has a volunteer on his/her case finds a safe, permanent home approximately 8 months faster than a child who does not have a CASA volunteer. Children with a CASA volunteer are also 50% less likely to re-enter foster care, breaking the terrible cycle of violence.  February is a great month to reflect upon the African-American legacy and partnering with CASA is a great way to help children continue this legacy.

For more information about becoming a CASA Advocate with CASA of Saline County, please call 618-253-3355.

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