Whereas, every child deserves to grow up in a safe, loving permanent home where his or her physical, emotional and educational needs are fully met thereby giving the child an opportunity to realize his or her full potential;
Whereas, preventing child abuse and neglect is a community problem that depends upon education and involvement among people throughout every sector of the community;
Whereas, in 2012 every eight minutes a child in Texas was the subject of abuse or neglect;
Whereas, in 2012, 64,366 children in Texas, including 9 in Mason County, were confirmed as victims of abuse or neglect;
Whereas, 60 percent of those children were under the age of six years old;
Whereas, in 2012, there were 212 child abuse related fatalities in Texas; that is a child every 41 hours;
Whereas, in 2012, 47,137 children in Texas, including 5 in Mason County, were in the care and custody of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services because of evidence of abuse and neglect;
Whereas, a child’s journey in the child protection system can be an extremely frightening, confusing and traumatic experience for a child who has been removed from his or her home and placed with strangers often in a different county away from his or her school, friends, place a worship and only life they have ever known;
Whereas, the impact of abuse and neglect has long-term personal, economic and social costs;
Whereas, Court Appointed Special Advocates® – CASA Volunteers – are assigned by the court to speak up for a child’s best interest and be a voice for that child in the courts;
Whereas, every child in care deserves a CASA Volunteer, but fewer than half the children in care have a CASA volunteer;
Whereas, Bluebonnet CASA, Child Protective Services, Child Advocacy Centers, Foster Parents, Mason County Child Welfare Board, Teachers and others work to ensure that children in our community have the opportunity to grow up in safe, loving permanent homes;
Therefore, I hereby proclaim April as Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month in Mason County/Mason and commend all organizations, including Bluebonnet CASA and CASA Volunteers for their commitment and dedication to preventing abuse and mitigating the devastating effect of abuse and neglect by serving children who have been victimized.
I further call upon all citizens, community agencies, faith groups, schools, government agencies, and businesses to increase their participation in efforts to support families and prevent child abuse, thereby strengthening our entire community on this, the 1st Day of April, 2013.