The number of children requiring advocacy in our area is growing substantially. Did you know that:
- Approximately 75,000 children live in Henrico County
- 3,529 children were reported to Child Protective Services in 2021
- During this period, 385 were appointed a Court Appointed Special Advocate
- 88 new children were referred to CASA over the most recent six months
These children represent families in crisis who are now also facing the stress, strain, and repercussions of the ongoing pandemic. No matter what the crisis, it is our responsibility to make sure the individual needs of each child are seen, heard, and acted upon. Below is a true case story about a Henrico teen and how his dedicated CASA volunteer helped him find his voice while also helping his family relationships heal. (Please note that all names were changed to protect privacy.)
Tyler came to the court’s attention after dangerous decisions, escalating in nature, made it clear he was lacking the supervision that he needed. Problems at home had intensified after he told his parents that he was gay. Conflicts arose and distance grew.
A dedicated CASA volunteer, Latrice, invested time getting to know Tyler and his family. She saw Tyler’s anxiety and recognized his struggle to communicate his needs and wishes with those closest to him. Lacking a safe place to express himself, Tyler had been seeking acceptance in people and places that were unsafe.
CASA gave Tyler the opportunity to build a trusted relationship with a safe adult. This relationship paved the way to rebuilding a connection with his family. Thanks to encouragement from Latrice and the support of counselors, Tyler found his voice. He is moving forward confident in himself and his ability to connect with others.
Learn more about how you can volunteer to give a teen like Tyler a voice.