Dear Yolo County CASA Supporters,
April is child abuse prevention month and this year is especially important. Schools are often a safe haven for foster children. After all, when their lives become quickly unfamiliar with new family members, foods, and traditions, school is often the place that stays the same. It also used to be a place where about a fifth of child abuse and neglect cases were reported to child protective services.
When the pandemic hit and schools closed, we were concerned… not because of the amount of calls that were going to child protective services, but because the amount of calls that weren’t.
Living our lives in isolation also meant that abuse happened in isolation. It would be one thing if this were short-term, but it’s been a full year since schools have even begun to open part-time.
The long-term ramifications of Coronavirus have yet to be seen, especially when it comes to cases of child abuse and neglect. What will be uncovered when we all return to life as normal? WILL we even return to life as normal?
We are personally preparing now for an influx of cases within the next few months. But these cases will be different. The usual trauma of being abused or neglected will be there, but there will be a different kind of trauma… a trauma left behind from experiencing it in isolation… wondering if it would ever end or see the light of day.
As vaccines roll out around the nation, we’re relieved. But we are also soberly aware that there is no vaccination for the silent abuse and neglect that passed us by this last year. In honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month, please commit to, “If you see something, say something.” It truly takes a whole community of people watching out for our most vulnerable people to make progress happen.
Yolo County CASA