April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

   Join CASA/GAL of Eastern Montana’s commitment to helping victims of child abuse and neglect heal, and making sure all children feel safe and loved.

   Anytime a child is abused or neglected, it’s a tragedy – one that all too often scars victims for a lifetime. The latest HYPERLINK:

“http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/cm2012.pdf#page=11” statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are sobering:

   Child Protective Services agencies across the United States received some 3.4 million referrals of abuse or neglect involving 6.3 million children in 2012.

   An estimated 1,640 children died from child abuse or neglect in 2012, nearly three-quarters of them younger than age three.

  CASA/GAL of Eastern Montana is currently working 100 active cases in Carter, Custer, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, McCone, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Rosebud, Treasure, and Wibaux Counties. We serve these cases with 22 active volunteers. As you can see, these numbers are somewhat mismatched. We are constantly affronted with new cases and are constantly in need of new volunteers to support these children in need.

   Studies have shown that children who have suffered abuse or neglect are more likely to struggle in school, have run-ins with law enforcement, experience homelessness or abuse drugs or alcohol. Research also shows that abused children are more apt to grow up to abuse their own kids.

   At CASA/GAL of Eastern Montana we help abused and neglected children heal so they can live happier, safer lives. Our CASA volunteers – court appointed special advocates – make sure kids don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service systems or languish in unsupportive foster homes. CASA volunteers stay with children until their court case is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home.

  During National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we invite our community to learn more about the work we do and consider becoming a CASA volunteer. We urge anyone who is interested in becoming a CASA volunteer or who would just like further information on CASA/GAL of Eastern Montana to please contact our office at 406-234-2354 or email:


  Not everyone can be a CASA volunteer, but everyone can be an advocate by taking steps to make our community safer for our children:

   Be mindful of the signs of abuse and neglect in children, such as a lack of adult supervision, extreme passivity or aggression or poor hygiene.

   Be aware of warning signs in parents, such as showing indifference or rarely touching or looking at their child, constant verbal criticism, demands for perfection, blaming the child for family problems, or other irrational behaviors.

   If you think a child is in immediate danger, don’t hesitate. Call 911.

   If you believe a child is being abused or neglected, report your suspicions confidentially to our state’s toll-free child abuse hotline at 1-866-820-5437.

   Working together we can end abuse and neglect so that every child has a chance to thrive.