Join Louisiana CASA during April to learn how together we can prevent child abuse in Louisiana.

We’re addressing child abuse, something that affects thousands of children in Louisiana. Our mission this month is to spread awareness and raise money to advocate for our state’s abused and neglected children.

During Child Abuse Prevention Month, we will be hosting FREE educational webinars presented by a statewide network of subject matter experts with first-hand experience working in the child welfare field.

Part 1: The State of Child Abuse in Louisiana

Friday, April 9, 2021 at 12 noon

Join Louisiana CASA and guest speaker Rebecca May-Ricks for ‘The State of Child Abuse in Louisiana’. Listeners will learn what is considered child abuse and how to see the signs of abuse and neglect. Rebecca will also discuss how large this issue is in our state and ways we as a community can help.

About the Speaker: Rebecca is the Director for Mental Health Advocacy Services/Child Advocacy Program, where she has been since 2010.  She has been the Louisiana State Coordinator for the National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC) for the last 2 years. She serves on the Louisiana Bar Association’s Children’s Law Committee, the Court Improvement Program’s CARE Committee, CQI/PQI Subcommittee, and Pelican Center Training and Education Workgroup.  She has been a member of the NACC since law school, where she was the President of the Tulane Chapter of that organization.  She graduated from Tulane Law School in 2003, having been a student-attorney in the Juvenile Litigation Clinic.  As a student-attorney, she represented children in both CINC (child in need of care) matters as well as delinquency matters. During law school, she was also a CASA volunteer in Orleans Parish.

Part 2: Understanding and Preventing ACEs

Friday, April 16, 2021 at 12 noon

Join Louisiana CASA and guest speaker Dr. Eric Griggs for ‘ACEs: Adverse Childhood Experiences’. Listeners will learn what ACEs are and the long-term affect they have on children. Dr. Griggs will also discuss preventing ACEs in our community by assuring safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments.

About the Speaker: Eric Griggs, M.D. graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1992 and Tulane University School of Medicine in 1996. Dr. Griggs works for Access Health Louisiana as the Director of Community Medicine and serves as the Community Medicine Advisor for Xavier University School of  Pharmacy Health and Wellness Center. His efforts as a health educator and health and awareness advocate have been recognized by District 7 State Senator David R. Heitmeier in a 2014 Resolution naming Dr. Eric Griggs, Health and Wellness Ambassador of the State of Louisiana. Dr. Griggs proudly serves as the Director of Life Sciences for STEM NOLA, serves on the Board of Directors for Playworks-Louisiana, Bike Easy and previously, on the Broadmoor Charter School Board. Dr. Griggs also co-founded and directed the Broadmoor Basketball Association, a basketball program for at-risk youth. Earlier this year, Dr. Griggs was appointed by Governor John Bel Edwards to the Louisiana Children’s Cabinet Advisory Board and as a spokesperson for the Governor’s Louisiana Youth For Excellence program.

Part 3: Keeping Children Safe Online

Friday, April 23, 2021 at 12 noon

Join Louisiana CASA and guest speaker Claudine Wiant for Keeping Children Safe Online. Listeners will learn about the dangers children face when being on the internet and how caregivers can protect their children. 

About the Speaker: Claudine Wiant is the Director of Programming for the Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children. The Foundation is a non-profit, located in Delaware and now conducting child protection programming in 23 states. Claudine develops and conducts presentations for adults and children on how to recognize, intervene, and, most critically, prevent all forms of child abuse. She also helps schools and youth serving organizations to create child protection policies that effectively interrupt the grooming process by child predators. Claudine is a retired police sergeant after twenty years of service with law enforcement.  While ‘on the job,’ she was assigned as a family services unit detective, crime prevention supervisor, media coordinator, and also served as a mediator and crisis negotiator. After retiring from law enforcement, Claudine became a Title IX Civil Rights Investigator and Clery Compliance Coordinator in higher education.  During her time there, she earned her Master of Science in Administration of Justice.   She began volunteering for the Foundation in 2015 before accepting a position in 2017. In 2019, Claudine graduated from the Delaware Law School with her Juris Doctor. Claudine also volunteers as a certified Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and is the mother of three sons.   

Make a difference in a child’s story!

Every donation makes a difference. Make a one-time gift of $30, $1 per day, in recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Ready to do more?

If you’d like to learn more about becoming a volunteer advocate or how to get involved with the CASA program in your area, view all of our 17 local programs to find a program near you.

CASA volunteers, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, are everyday people from all walks of life who are recruited and specially trained to advocate for children and provide a consistent, reliable adult presence for them during a difficult time in their life.

About Louisiana CASA

Did you know that according to the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, there were 52,862 reports of suspected abuse or neglect last year? Annually in Louisiana, there are roughly 7,000 children and youth who have been removed from their homes and placed into the foster care system. These children and youth come from all walks of life and face profound, frightening unknowns – new homes, new schools, court hearings and a revolving door of caseworkers, counselors, lawyers, teachers and foster parents – all while dealing with the trauma of abuse or neglect.

For a child, having a court appointed special advocate (CASA) volunteer means they won’t have to face that chaos and uncertainty alone. Louisiana CASA, together with our 17 local programs, supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy so that every Louisiana child who has experienced abuse or neglect can be safe, have a permanent home and the opportunity to thrive.

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