DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

Health

April 24, 2014

HEALTH BRIEFS

Abused children need community support

Studies have shown that children who have suffered abuse or neglect are more likely to struggle in school, have run-ins with law enforcement, experience homelessness or abuse drugs or alcohol. Research also shows that abused children are more apt to grow up to abuse their own kids.

CASA of NH helps abused and neglected children heal so they can live happier, safer lives. CASA volunteers — court-appointed special advocates — make sure kids don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service systems or languish in unsupportive foster homes. CASA volunteers stay with children until their court case is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home.

During National Child Abuse Prevention Month, CASA invites the community to learn more about the work they do and consider becoming a CASA volunteer. Visit casanh.org or call 626-4600. They hold training for volunteers statewide, with the next ones coming up in Dover, Keene and Plymouth.

Not everyone can be a CASA volunteer, but everyone can be an advocate by taking steps to make communities safer for children.

Be mindful of the signs of abuse and neglect in children, such as a lack of adult supervision, extreme passivity or aggression or poor hygiene.

Be aware of warning signs in parents, such as showing indifference or rarely touching or looking at their child, constant verbal criticism, demands for perfection, blaming the child for family problems or other irrational behaviors.

If you think a child is in immediate danger, don’t hesitate. Call 911.

If you believe a child is being abused or neglected, report your suspicions confidentially to our state’s toll-free child abuse hotline at 271-6562.

Fresh Air Fund seeks host families

Fresh Air volunteers need help to create another fun-filled summer for children from New York City. Each summer, more than 4,000 children visit volunteer host families in rural, suburban, and small town communities across 13 states from Virginia to Maine and Canada.

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