April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, planted 428 blue pinwheels in front of the Davidson County Juvenile courthouse Tuesday.
Those 428 pinwheels represent each child CASA was able to serve last year.
“It all culminates right here in front of the Juvenile Justice Center in these courtrooms right here is where our advocacy really, really works,” said CASA Peer Coordinator, Claudia Humphrey Henry.
CASA pairs a volunteer advocate with a child who has been identified by the court as being abused and neglected. They visit with the child more than a social worker has time to and they ultimately become the voice for the child in the courtroom when a judge is trying to discern where a child should be moved to live.
“Our goal is permanency. And of course, we want reunification, but occasionally its adoption. There are other options, but the key is that the CASA is in the child’s life. And their main focus is the child’s best interest,” said Barbara Mcnamee, a CASA volunteer.
92 percent of the time, judges accept CASA volunteers’ recommendations for where a child should be placed.