For Immediate Release March 21, 2023
Geneva, IL – April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Kane County, a leading nonprofit agency training volunteers to advocate on behalf of children in foster care due to abuse and neglect, is hosting its annual HATCH Hands Around the Courthouse & County event Thursday, April 6 at 12 noon at the Historic Kane County Courthouse, 100 S. Third Street in Geneva. All members of the community are encouraged to participate.
Child abuse and neglect has risen at alarming rates following the pandemic. Rates of child abuse and neglect are five times higher for children in families with low socio-economic status compared to children in families with higher socio-economic status. Children and youth who have spent time in the child welfare system are more likely to face incarceration, homelessness, and unemployment. They are less likely to graduate high school and more likely to be trafficked.
One of the leading CASAs in the nation, CASA Kane County works proactively to protect and shepherd 100% of children who have been in abuse or neglect situations originating in Kane County– and follows them wherever they are fostered in the state of Illinois. CASA Kane County volunteers are also uniquely sworn in as officers of the court – Guardian ad Litems – and are often, the first person a judge wants to hear from regarding the best interests of a child.
CASA Kane County served a record 613 children in 2022. This represents an 85% increase in the number of children served in the last 3 years and calls for a significant need to find more community volunteers and resources to meet the needs of every child.
CASA Kane County’s annual HATCH Hands Around The Court House & County event provides an opportunity for awareness of Child Abuse Prevention Month while reminding the community how we help protect the well-being of all children. Attendees learn more about what they can do as a community member through small acts that help protect children, strengthen our families, and foster the health and well-being of the next generation.
CASA invites ALL community members to attend HATCH Hands Around the Court House & County to hear directly from the Honorable Chief Judge Clint Hull of the 16th Judicial Circuit District, Mayor Dave Kaptain of Elgin, Mayor’s Office of Aurora (either Mayor Richard Irvin and/or Deputy Mayor Guillermo Trujillo), Village President of Burlington Mary Kay Wlezen as well as Executive Director of CASA Kane County Jim Di Ciaula.
After the brief program, participants will be asked to join hands for a moment of silence acknowledging local victims of child abuse and neglect. The entire ceremony is open to the public and lasts about 20 minutes.
CASA/GAL volunteers make a significant impact in the life of an abused or neglected child. National CASA statistics found that children with a CASA volunteer:
Are half as likely to re-enter the foster care system;
Are more likely to receive education, medical and other needed services;
Will experience fewer, traumatic placement moves;
Will spend eight months less in the foster care system than those without a volunteer.
CASA Kane County is issuing a call to action for community residents to stand against child abuse and take action to support children and youth who have been abused or neglected and those who remain silent. Everyone can do his or her part by attending the Hands Around the Courthouse event, picking up a yard sign calling for more volunteers, learning about becoming a CASA/GAL volunteer, donating, reviewing the Mandated Reporting Toolkit on the CASA Website, calling 1-800-25-ABUSE to make a report, if abuse or neglect is suspected.