Raising Awareness for Vulnerable Children

Reginald’s CASA Story

By Kristin Blalock | November 7, 2022

Reginald Baugh, a software engineer, was sworn in by the Court as a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate, aka CASA, earlier this year. He is enthusiastically embracing the role, recognizing this as an opportunity to be an ‘agent of change.’ With CASA, Reginald has already served five children who needed someone to speak up for…

Chase’s CASA Story

By Kristin Blalock | October 31, 2022

Chase Whitaker, a newly graduated law student, attorney, and future Guardian Ad Litem has been volunteering with Henrico CASA for over two years. Prior to his time in Henrico, he served as a volunteer advocate with the CASA program in San Diego. Chase’s most recent case was full of ups and downs with a dramatic…

CASA Case: Sam and Christopher’s Story

By Kristin Blalock | October 23, 2022

Sam and Christopher*, two young brothers, were born into a tumultuous home life marked by domestic violence. Over time, their mother realized that although the violence was against her, not the children, it was still hurting them. She recognized that it was her responsibility to protect the boys. She left the abusive relationship and filed…

DVAM: 4 Ways to Support a Child Victim

By Kristin Blalock | October 14, 2022

Domestic violence creates an unsafe, unhealthy, and frightening environment for children. The violence may or may not be directed at the children. But the children are victims, all the same. Witnessing intimate partner violence is traumatic. Children may be witnessing it with their own eyes, but they may also hear or sense violence that is…

DVAM: What Is Trauma Bonding?

By Kristin Blalock | October 7, 2022

Studies show that domestic violence increased during the COVID pandemic. While data proved this, it also makes sense on a fundamental level. Isolation is an abuser’s greatest tool. And isolation was how the entire world coped with the pandemic. Victims were stuck with abusers and their access to help was restricted. This is the shadow…

DVAM: 4 Tips for Safety Plans

By Kristin Blalock | October 1, 2022

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) defines ‘domestic violence’ as “the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats, and economic and emotional/psychological abuse.” If you know…

Woman holding folders and binder, blog header

Advocates for Higher Education

By Kristin Blalock | September 23, 2022

An advocate is defined as one who pleads on someone else’s behalf. This appeal or petition for another can be in many forms. There are macro-level advocates, such as those who advocate for large scale reform, and micro-level advocates, such as those who speak up for individuals. Court Appointed Special Advocates primarily focus on the…

children with backpacks running toward camera, blog header

Back to School with CASA

By Kristin Blalock | September 16, 2022

With a new school year, the possibilities and opportunities are endless. Unfortunately, for some students, the challenges may also feel endless. That is why CASA volunteers encourage the children we serve to share their feelings about the new school year. We want to process the challenges together. Since educators are vital to a child’s development,…

Diverse group of adults and children at outdoor meal, blog header

Who Can Make a Difference?

By Kristin Blalock | September 9, 2022

Building new relationships can feel intimidating. This is especially true for children and teens who have experienced trauma. Youth hurt or abandoned by loved ones may be scared to trust again. Teens jaded by ongoing let-downs may expect the worse and not pursue new friendships. Children not given the opportunity to form healthy attachments to…

As friends and neighbors, we should work to build support systems around families.

CASA’s Call to Action: Support Families

By Jeannine Panzera | September 2, 2022

In August, the Richmond Times Dispatch published the editorial below, written as a call to action for our community as children start returning to school this fall. Together, we can serve families, support our schools, and stop child abuse. Across our community, parents and caregivers are struggling to balance the stress of daily life alongside…