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Take Action This October: Support Children Affected by Domestic Violence

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With October being recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, organizations such as the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program and the Foster Care Review Board of Arizona (FCRB) are making an important call to action. They urge the community to raise awareness and support, focusing on the indirect victims of domestic violence: the children.

Far-Reaching Impacts
Domestic violence creates a ripple effect of trauma that doesn't only impact the individuals in the immediate conflict but extends its damaging influence to the children who bear witness to these painful incidents. The effects on children are profound, leaving them anxious, uncertain, and in many cases, necessitating their placement into kinship care or foster homes.

Bridging Domestic Violence and Child Abuse
There is substantial research supporting the connection between domestic violence and child abuse, making the work of organizations like CASA and FCRB crucial. Both groups are engaged actively in recruiting and training volunteers who will be advocates for children in foster care across Arizona's 15 counties, under the administration of the Dependent Children's Services Division of the Arizona Supreme Court.

Volunteering with CASA and FCRB
The call for volunteers is statewide, with positions open for individuals who are 21 years of age or older, after a thorough vetting process. CASA volunteers are tasked with visiting children in foster care, understanding their lives and circumstances, and subsequently advocating for their best interests. This advocacy involves making informed recommendations to juvenile courts regarding essential services, suitable placements, and permanency goals for the children.

On the other hand, FCRB volunteers serve on review boards consisting of five members each. These boards meet once a month via Zoom, reviewing cases of children in foster care. Board members engage with interested parties, evaluate appropriate services and permanency goals, and then forward their recommendations to the juvenile court.

How to Get Involved

The commitment required for volunteers is approximately 12 to 15 hours per month. For those willing to stand as advocates for children within their community, applications can be submitted atAZCASAVolunteer.org or azfcrb.org.

Domestic Violence Support Lines
If you or someone you know is currently facing domestic violence, help is available. Reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE, or connect with the Arizona Domestic Violence Helpline Team at (602) 279-2980.

Act Now
In these challenging times, the shadow of domestic violence looms large, and its victims need community support more than ever. By volunteering with organizations like CASA and FCRB, individuals in San Tan Valley and beyond can actively contribute to alleviating the pain and uncertainty that many children face due to domestic violence in their homes. Every action, no matter how small, contributes to raising awareness and providing support to those in need during this Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
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Monday, 20 May 2024

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