Child abuse increase forecast during pandemic

Special to the Banner
Posted 4/1/20

Experts predict that child abuse will increase during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Bradley and Polk Counties has transitioned to training new …

This item is available in full to subscribers

Child abuse increase forecast during pandemic

Posted

Experts predict that child abuse will increase during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Bradley and Polk Counties has transitioned to training new volunteer advocates online in order to be prepared for an inevitable influx of cases as soon as the local courts fully reopen.
“This pandemic affects everyone but it especially leaves our most vulnerable children at a heightened risk,” said Executive Director Christopher Janetzko. “Experts across the country are predicting an increase of child abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic. As stress and anxiety increases in households, many children are going to be the victims of regrettable acts of violence and neglect.”
As many organizations are forced to suspend activities, CASA is ramping up its recruitment of volunteers to address this urgent need. The agency initially planned to recruit and train 20 new volunteer advocates by the end of 2020. CASA has now adjusted its plan to recruit 20 new volunteers before July 1.
In order to be able to train these additional volunteers, while respecting the state’s social distancing recommendations, the agency will be using the National CASA/GAL Association's online platform. The curriculum is a blended approach to training that combines self-guided work and in-person video conferences with CASA staff. In addition to the online classes all volunteers are required to pass a background check and submit three references.
“For the last 10 years CASA has been lifting up the voices of children in Bradley and Polk counties and we have no intention of slowing down our advocacy during this critical time,” said Janetzko. “We are looking forward to swearing in a large group of advocates as soon as our courts fully reopen.”
CASA's first online cohort began April 1 and another one will begin on May 13.
Those interested in becoming a volunteer advocate with CASA should email advocate manager Natalie Barrionuevo at casemanager@casabp.org or call 423-472-5800. For more information about CASA’s COVID-19 response visit casabp.org.
Child abuse and neglect should be reported to 877-237-0004 and in the case of a emergency or life-threatening situation call 9-1-1.CASA is funded under a grant contract with the State of Tennessee, The National CASA/GAL Association, and United Way of the Ocoee Region.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment

X

Print subscribers have FREE access to clevelandbanner.com by registering HERE

Non-subscribers have limited monthly access to local stories, but have options to subscribe to print, web or electronic editions by clicking HERE

We are sorry but you have reached the maximum number of free local stories for this month. If you have a website account here, please click HERE to log in for continued access.

If you are a print subscriber but do not have an account here, click HERE to create a website account to gain unlimited free access.

Non-subscribers may gain access by subscribing to any of our print or electronic subscriptions HERE