Pinwheels represent child abuse prevention.

April 7, 2017
Selena Kosla, 6, places pinwheels near the courthouse entrance.

Selena Kosla, 6, places pinwheels near the courthouse entrance.

Pinwheels represent child abuse prevention.

#OceanaCountyCASA #ChildAbusePreventionMonth

By Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.

Oceana County Probate Judge Brad Lambrix.

Oceana County Probate Judge Brad Lambrix.

HART — Oceana County CASA is focused on fighting child abuse and neglect, and it is in need of more advocates to help.

The local CASA (court-appointed special advocates) organization had a Blue Pinwheel Ceremony Friday afternoon, April 7, in front of the Oceana County Courthouse, in conjunction with April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Blue pinwheels were placed along the courthouse entrance as a reminder of the many neglected and abused children in Oceana County.

“The pinwheels are the nationally-recognized symbol for prevention of child abuse and neglect,” said Oceana County Probate Judge Brad Lambrix.pinwheels - CASA

“Today, we’re here in Oceana County to recognize this year’s theme, and that is ‘The Power of One.’ I really like that slogan, because it means that one person, one community, one dollar, or one volunteer can make a difference toward the prevention of child abuse, and that is really what it’s all about.

“We need to come together as individuals, as professionals, as family members and as community members to address the issue of child abuse and hopefully prevent that from happening to any child.”

CASA - 2The Ninth Annual Child Abuse Prevention Rally at the State Capitol in Lansing is slated for April 27 at 11 a.m., Lambrix said.

Becoming a CASA volunteer does not require any particular education level. The advocate must be at least 21 years old and has to go through an extensive background check. They are then sent to a 35-hour training and must receive 12 additional hours of training each year.

The CASA organization provides abused and neglected children in the family court system individualized advocacy for their best interests through the trained adult volunteers. The advocates — empowered directly by the courts — offer judges the critical information they need to ensure that each child’s rights and needs are being attended to while in foster care.

“They are there as the eyes and the ears of the court on behalf of the children,” said Lambrix.

For more information about Oceana County CASA, call 616-796-4658.

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