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Addressing the Effects of Abuse, Neglect and Other Trauma

Addressing the Effects of Abuse, Neglect and Other Trauma

Experiencing abuse, neglect and other forms of trauma can impact physical and mental health, academic achievement, and more. The support of a CASA/GAL volunteer can help children build resilience to counter those impacts. 

Judges are more likely to assign CASA/GAL volunteers to their most complex, serious cases – cases in which children are at higher risk of poor outcomes.

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Abuse, neglect and other trauma can mark a child for life.

In 2017, 9 out of every 1,000 U.S. children were determined to be victims of abuse or neglect. Physical abuse and neglect are two of a number of highly stressful, potentially traumatic experiences known as “adverse childhood experiences,” or ACEs. Children who have experienced abuse or neglect are far more likely than others to have experienced a large number of ACEs.

Trauma can cause feelings of

helplessness and intense fear

Trauma can impact

brain development and mental health

Trauma can impact

educational achievement and employment

Research shows:

Having a stable relationship with a supportive adult can help children do well, even when they have faced significant hardships.

  • CASA/GAL volunteers are trained to understand the impact of trauma on children. 
  • They spend time with children and the people in their lives. They talk to service providers, teachers and social workers to gather information that will help them make informed recommendations to the court.
  • Based on what they learn, our volunteers also advocate for services that promote healing, that help children develop resilience without causing additional trauma.
  • They encourage services that strengthen parents’ relationships with their children.
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Volunteer with a program near you

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