Raising Awareness for Vulnerable Children

CASA and Foster Care

CASA and Foster Care

By Kristin Blalock | April 30, 2022

This opinion piece below, originally posted in the Times Opinion’s Holiday Giving Guide 2021, is a reminder that the foster care system, like all systems, is imperfect. In baring the system’s pitfalls, it highlights the need for CASA and reminds us of the vital role we play within the child welfare system. The New York…

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Child Abuse Prevention Month: Act

By Kristin Blalock | April 22, 2022

Ending child abuse globally feels like a daunting goal. That doesn’t mean there’s no where to start! As Court Appointed Special Advocates, we can stop abuse and neglect for at least one child. We do for one what we wish we could do for all.  Even if you aren’t able to volunteer as an advocate,…

Henrico CASA will be a necessary part of the community as long as even one child is experiencing abuse or neglect.

Child Abuse Prevention Month: Prevention

By Kristin Blalock | April 16, 2022

Prevention means stopping something before it happens. Unfortunately, Court Appointed Special Advocates are only appointed to a child’s case after an allegation of abuse or neglect is made. While we aren’t able to protect a child before they are referred to us, we can intervene quickly to prevent continued abuse and neglect. Henrico CASA will…

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Child Abuse Prevention Month: Facts

By Kristin Blalock | April 8, 2022

In our work at CASA, we have learned that child abuse and neglect are a pattern of behavior, sometimes not overtly intentional. Child abuse and neglect are many times symptoms of a family in crisis. Families Forward VA shares similar observations when they say, “There are no monsters. Abusive parents can be your friends, your…

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Child Abuse Prevention Month: Watch List

By Kristin Blalock | April 1, 2022

If you’re looking for a frivolous watch list, this post isn’t for you! However, if you are looking to dive into real issues by following real stories, be sure to add these three titles to your spring watch list. Afterall, sometimes complex subjects like child abuse and neglect are easier to digest when explored through…

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CASA Case: Luke and Katy’s Story

By Kristin Blalock | March 23, 2022

Many things can define us, if we let them. The tie-breaking goal at a championship game may characterize you as a star athlete. Your father’s career choice designates you as a ‘pastor’s kid.’ Your winning chili recipe establishes you as a ‘master chef.’ Often times, it’s the more negative experiences that seem to define us…

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CASA Communication: Tips to Frame a Child’s Story

By Kristin Blalock | March 18, 2022

Over recent weeks, we have explored ways that volunteer advocates communicate to remain positive, respectful, and inclusive. Afterall, the primary role of a Court Appointed Special Advocate, aka CASA, is to amplify a child’s voice. While within the courtroom, we literally act as the child’s voice. However, outside of the courtroom we want to find…

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CASA Communication: Value Through Language

By Kristin Blalock | March 11, 2022

Every single one of us wants to feel seen and valued. This is especially true for a child, or family, that may be walking through life feeling unseen in the dark shadow of their challenging circumstances. Our words, even when intended to be positive, can unintentionally exclude or dismiss people. Unfortunately, those who feel different…

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CASA Communication: Uplift with Words

By Kristin Blalock | March 4, 2022

“As one person, can I really make a difference?” We’ve all entertained this thought at one time or another. Complex situations, like the ones that often play out in the child welfare system, can feel daunting and endless. It’s only natural to wonder what kind of good we can do when so much appears to…

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CASA Call to Action: Prioritize Children

By Kristin Blalock | February 20, 2022

We have all heard the phrase “children are our future.” It’s true… but children must be our present in order to become our future. We must prioritize their well-being now – their health, safety, and education – in order to ensure they have a future. Not just any future, but a future beyond surviving where…