NAVAJO COUNTY — April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and the Court Appointed Special Advocate program, CASA, of Navajo County is focusing on educating the public and recruiting volunteers during a month-long campaign called “Advocate. Don’t Wait.”

Throughout the month of April, the CASA program will distribute informational bookmarks, posters and recruitment cards statewide in an effort to educate the community about child abuse and neglect, and issue a call to action for people to advocate for children.

“When a CASA volunteer is involved in a case, the statistics say that the case will come to permanency 35 percent faster for that child,” said CASA of Navajo County Coordinator Kirk Grugel.  

CASA volunteers are critical figures in the lives of children who have suffered from abuse and neglect. Appointed by judges, the role of a volunteer is to serve as an advocate for a child in foster care. CASA volunteers gather all of the information involving a child’s case and make formal recommendations to the juvenile court on the child’s behalf.

“Being a CASA volunteer was my opportunity to continue giving back to society,” said Gail DeCross, who volunteers with CASA of Navajo County. “We must return the good things that have come our way, and good parenting came my way. I am happy to help pass that on when I see parenting that needs help or children who are not getting the parenting that they need.”

For more information on CASA of Navajo County, or how you can volunteer, call Kirk Grugel at (928) 524-4135 or kgrugel@courts.az.gov, or visit www.casaofnavajocounty.org.

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