SIDNEY — Shelby County CASA program is continuing its mission to serve children experiencing abuse and neglect, with a particular focus on this work during Child Abuse Prevention Month in April.

CASA volunteers advocate for children experiencing abuse and neglect year-round; 84 children have been served in 2024 so far.

Child Abuse Prevention Month aims to spread awareness, while highlighting the importance of families and communities working together to fight child abuse and neglect.

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, over 3 million cases of child maltreatment are reported each year, with 558,899 cases substantiated in 2022.

“Without CASA Volunteers we couldn’t advocate for the abused and neglected children in our county. Locally on average our CASA Volunteers stay with the program for 6 years, which is higher than the National CASA average of 2 years. Each CASA is assigned a supervisor that is with them during each court hearing and for guidance on their cases. I believe this model helps sustain our CASA’s,“ Director Bridget Davis said.

After undergoing comprehensive training, CASA volunteers are appointed by a judge to advocate for children experiencing abuse or neglect. Volunteers are community members of all walks of life.

CASA Day in Ohio is planned for April 30. In Shelby County, an event will be held from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on courtsquare in downtown Sidney. Food will be available for purchase from Drake and Co. Food Truck. A few lucky community members will receive a pie in the face.