Area abused children in need of your help - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Area abused children in need of your help

Fewer children are being abused in the Texas Panhandle compared to previous years. But the rates are still higher than the state's average.

College students, teachers, retirees, and businessmen are all putting their efforts in to provide a voice for area abused children. But there aren't enough volunteers to help these kids.

Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, Volunteer Coordinator Lauren Giese says, "This little boy Jake who's six years old. He gave his advocate. Please give this to the judge. It's a really big deal. His parents' rights have been terminated. So, he was in a foster home. And he wrote this really cute hand written letter. He said "Dear Judge, I'm ready to be adopted. Please let me be adopted. P.S. don't forget me"."

Only about half of the 900 abused kids in our area, have a voice through CASA advocates. A 90 day area emergency shelter, Arrow Child & Family Ministries, also tells us they have kids coming in and out of the shelter helping about 200 per year. This gives them a home meanwhile a biological relative or local foster parent is found.

Arrow Child & Family Ministries Panhandle State Director Keith Howard says, "When our kids come to us they're pretty upset. They're scared. They're crying. They don't understand what's going on. Why they've been taken away from their family. Every kid who has been in a neglectful situation, or in an abusive situation, doesn't necessarily want to be removed. They would just like their parents to stop abusing them or neglecting them."

CASA says panhandle rates more than double the states'. Giese says, "We have a really big issue in Amarillo and the panhandle. A lot of it is due to I-27 and I-40. The drug trafficking. 90% of our cases have to do with drugs. So we see such a big prominent with Meth. So CASA is being really aggressive in saying we don't want any child that is being abused, neglected, or abandoned not to have a voice."

At the end of the month, Amarillo's CASA is providing trainings. You can reach them at 806-373-2272. If you'd like to donate money or clothing to Arrow Child & Family Ministries for abused children, you can contact them at 806-335-9138.

Jessica Abuchaibe, NewsChannel 10.

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